Jan 24, 2014

Oh Wise Winter

In winter, nature is at rest. The earth lies fallow and all is quiet and still. It is in this rest that nature replenishes itself. Let winter teach you that in this deep stillness we are called to look into our depths and to reconnect to our inner being. Be still and quiet. Look inward, and reflect with meditation, writing, or other inward practices such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. These practices help us connect to our inner.

Winter, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is associated with the Kidneys which we believe hold our body’s most basic and fundamental energy. According to TCM principles, all of the energy or Qi for our body stems from the health of the Kidney energy. The Kidneys are the root or pillar of strength that all the rest of our being draws upon. Think of the kidneys as a bank account….the more we put in and save the more reserve we will have to draw upon later when we may need it. The more we take out the less we have to get us through hard times.

Many people in our fast paced society suffer from a depletion of Kidney Qi as a result of overwork, stress, lack of sleep, or excessive lifestyles physically and/or mentally. Common symptoms are often bone problems (especially in the back, knees or teeth), joint pain, depletion of hair quality, urinary, sexual and/or reproductive imbalances, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, premature aging, depression, insecurity, and anxiety or insomnia.

Some ideas to fill your “bank account”:

Take Time to Listen and Recharge: Winter is a time to build your reserves; so slow down and listen to what others have to say and to what your heart says to you. This is a time of receiving, not doing. Be patient.

Nourish Yourself Well: Nourish yourself with warm food and drink lots of water. It is important to hydrate by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water daily. Eat warming foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of meat or fish protein. If you are a vegetarian, eat more beans, nuts, and tofu.

Continue to exercise: You may not feel like being active, but exercise will help keep you healthy!

Keep Warm: Prepare for the weather, and dress accordingly. Chinese medicine says that the neck and shoulder areas contain the “Wind” points through which pathogens can enter, so keep these areas protected; wear a scarf and keep your neck covered.

Come get acupuncture and Chinese herbs: Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help fortify your kidney qi and build your reserves. It can also help with some of the symptoms of Kidney Qi depletion such as osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, or any kind of back, knee or hip pain that is worse during the cold, damp winter. Also, if you suffer from seasonal affect disorder, anxiety, insomnia, or adrenal fatigue, acupuncture can help get you through the cold, dark months ahead.

Enjoy the season! Peace and health to you and your families!