November - The Lung and Autumn

Integrative Wellness


The Lung and Autumn
Britton Mann

For the spring edition of the Open Door newsletter, I wrote to you of the growth potential characterized by the season. Tender shoots were pushing up everywhere, the collective birth and vitality of which stood out against the quiet storage phase of winter.

In New England colloquial, spring and autumn are “shoulder” seasons – and just as that joint in the body swings, so does springtime swing open the door to life, and autumn shuts it.

It is difficult to gently state the fact that autumn is about death and dying. The sun is withdrawing its warmth, and desiccated leaves are falling from trees. Living things are responding to this season by packing up and shutting down.

There’s a certain longing that this season engenders - a wistfulness for long summer days and a tidy mudroom. It is no coincidence that grief, in traditional east Asian worldview, is the emotion associated with autumn.

But letting go of that longing is also made easier by autumn. As much about death, autumn is about letting go of that which no longer serves you. Leaves and vines have done their job of transforming the sun’s energy into the colorful nutrient-dense squash left in the field. That is the prize of death.

The quality of sunlight – metallic and clear on a crisp day – is no longer good for production of material, but about refinement and seeing reality. The academic calendar starts in autumn to take advantage of that clarity. It is easier for children to focus their energy during this season than in the heat and effulgence of summer.

Autumn is also the season of the Lung organ network, and – in my acupuncture clinic - the colds, coughs, and respiratory distress that afflicts the organ itself. The Lung is considered “the delicate organ,” and it is susceptible to the change in season, the introduction of new pathogens, the mold on decaying leaves.

Part of my role as a diagnostician is to place my patient’s health concerns in context of seasonal change, and the fall season presents its own unique challenges and opportunities for health.

If you’d like to learn more about me and the acupuncture clinic at Open Door, check out the recently published UV Daily profile.


A sampling of
November Offerings at Open Door

Sunday, November 12 from  3-5pm
Price: $30 per person or $50 for you and a friend
Instrutor: Michele Sacerdote
  For more information or to register, email Michele at:

Round Table Discussion on Narrative Medicine with Dr. Kathryn Kirkland
November 15, Wednesday from 6-7:30pm
Free and Open to the Public

 Thursdays, November 2- December 14 (no class on Thanksgiving) from 5:30-6:30pm
Instructor: Susan Burke
Price: Drop in, $18.00; Series, $96.00
To register or for more information email Susan at:


 Saturday, November 18 (Pre-register by November 13)
Price: $50, bring a friend or family member and save $5 each
Instructor: Ali Rose Price
   Snacks and recipes will be provided. 
This workshop requires payment upon registration and has a limit of 8 participants. Course will run with 5 participants. 
To register contact Ali directly at 603-726-0646 or at
Mindfulness in Schools

Open Door is excited to be working with Lebanon High School in helping teachers and staff incorporate more mindfulness into the school day.  

For more information about how Open Door can work with  your school or business around mindfulness programing contact Kate Gamble at:

November Nutrition Notes
Holly Westling

The most common nutrition question I am asked during the month of November is, “ What do I do during Thanksgiving?” My response is always, “Enjoy it!”  Thanksgiving is the time to gather with friends and family, be grateful and share a delicious meal together.  Food is one of the great pleasures in life and should be enjoyed.  It doesn’t mean to disregard all of your hard work of creating a healthy lifestyle, but moderation works well.  When you are planning your meal, consider making a few healthy substitutions in your standard recipes.  These minor changes won’t compromise the taste and will make a difference in how you feel afterwards.  For example, let’s look at a typical mashed potato recipe:  you can replace butter with coconut oil or olive oil; cream with plain kefir or for non-dairy try unsweetened coconut or almond milk.  Instead of using white potatoes, try yukon gold or other higher fiber yellow potatoes.  I always like to add a head of roasted garlic cloves for extra zing and added nutrients.  

Portion control can be helpful in avoiding the “after-meal blahs".  Remember that a portion of carbohydrates such as potatoes or yams should really only be about the size of a hockey puck while green vegetables should be at least the size of a tennis ball.  When building your plate for dinner, try to make at least half of your plate non-starchy vegetables.  This will help minimize those dishes that are not as nutrient rich.  By taking the time to chew each bite of food about 20 times, you will slow down your meal, improve digestion, and most likely eat less.  As far as dessert goes, try to get away with having a bit of your favorite dessert or make your own dessert that is more forgiving such as the apple crisp recipe I provide below.  You can also fill a whole grain, coconut oil crust with this crisp and pass it off as a pie.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple Crisp
Slice and core 6 apples (granny smith apples work really well). Place in large bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkled with cinnamon.
In smaller bowl mix together:
1 cup plain oats
2 T melted coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup
sliced almonds
2 T agave nectar or coconut sugar
Place apples in baking dish; cover with oat mixture
Bake at 375 for 20 - 30 minutes
Through our wellness programs, Open Door offers clients the tools to be self reliant and resilient, and to achieve vibrant health and well-being. We take a fresh approach to healthcare that encourages the use of preventative practices and collaboration between client and providers. We work with clients in private sessions and group classes in our studio. We also bring our services to the workplace and out to the community.
Learn more about our Services>

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Hannah Lyons