Doyo,” meaning life transition
Dr. Elson Haas
written by
Dr. Elson Haas

Jun 07, 2024

Article Tags: integrative medicine | education | seasonal health | lifestyle

What is the Doyo?

In the system of elements and seasons from Traditional Chinese Medicine that was the subject of my first book Staying Healthy with the Seasons, the “Doyo” refers to a transition period of 10 days before and 10 days after each solstice and equinox (about 3 weeks all together). During this time it is wise to adapt and make the appropriate lifestyle changes so we’re ready to step forward into the new season, often with shifts in our diet, exercise program, sleep, and work patterns. This year the Summer Solstice is coming up on Thursday, June, 20th at 1:50 pm PDT so now’s the time to consider what changes you want to make.

Doyo,” meaning life transition

The Doyo is associated with the Earth element and its position is at the center, reflecting the idea that change is the only constant. We return to the center four times each year between the seasons to re-evaluate, rebalance and prepare. Doyo literally means “all together” and each of the elements is in play during this time. It is a short season, but it can be busy and a bit unstable.

I feel that this seasonal-elemental approach is one of the most basic and natural orientations to life and health; it starts with the idea of adaptability and attunement to eating seasonally and locally – using what is being grown and harvested close to where we live. We can also change our exercise program to match the climate in our area. With summer’s longer and warmer days we might be outdoors more and maybe find access to water to balance the heat, whether in a swimming pool, river, lake or ocean. Similarly, we need to pay attention to our inner water and stay hydrated as we perspire more. I have also found that the Doyo is a great time to do a 2–3-week detox-cleanse, focusing on liquids at this time of year, as a way to reset my habits.

I hope will enjoy exploring this unique way of looking at the cycles of the year and how we relate to them to foster our well-being. Staying Healthy with the Seasons is still in print after more than 40 years so check it out!

Stay Healthy!

Dr. Elson