According to Traditional Chinese Medicine....
... us humans benefit greatly from living in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment and energy of the seasons. As outside, so within.
"Take a rest, a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop” Ovid
We're diving into winter - the maximum “Yin” aspect of nature’s cycles - the dark, cold, slow, still, inward energy and time for deeper nourishment.
Winter teaches us to slow it right down. In winter the earth lies fallow and nature is still, and in this stillness we're called to turn inwards, take stock, examine our depths, befriend the darkness, rest and replenish before the next phase of spring when the zest and activity of “Yang”energy takes over.
Now the fuss and frolics of the festive season are over, we can do less and surrender into moments of rest, reflection and hibernation. Winter grants us absolute permission to relax and nourish ourselves in whichever ways work well for us. (Tips below)
BE LIKE WATER
Winter is ruled by the water element and water is capable of stillness or huge movement. In winter we can mimic the quieter aspects of water, still and calm, containing our energy within ourselves and nourishing our inner strength. Slowly filling our inner reservoirs so we can move, act and flow powerfully and smoothly when the upward and outward “Yang”energy of spring emerges.
Associated with the water element and winter are the Kidneys - considered the source of all energy, the powerhouse of the body, housing our deep reserves to be drawn upon in times of stress and change, to heal, prevent illness and age gracefully.
If our Kidney energy starts to run low, we run low (all too common after busy festivities and heightened emotions!) We might get sick easily, feel flat, a bit sad, over tired, running on empty, achey bones especially our knees and back - all these relate to the kidney system and signal that we need to top up our reserves.
Gentle activities such as meditation, writing, art, yoga, tai chi and other quietly nourishing and inward focusing activities are good practices to help us nurture our kidney energy, turn inwards, relax the body and mind, calm our emotions and raise the spirits.
Allowing our seeds and intentions time and space to develop internally before they bloom up and out in the spring.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS… NOT QUITE YET!!
We can go easy with making any new year grand master plans just yet, now is the time to ponder, wonder, reflect and nurture what will feed us long term. From an oriental perspective, clear new intentions are better formulated at Chinese (lunar) new year (25th Jan) and we can put it all into action in spring.
For now, do less, stay warm, hydrated and nourished, and give yourself the extra time and space to slow down, rest and restore in this profound season of stillness. 😊
SIMPLE TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE TIPS TO STAY WELL THIS WINTER & BEYOND
DO LESS – nature accumulates energy during winter in order to grow in spring, so should we, slow it down
GENTLE MOVEMENT - inward focusing and soft flowing movement such as yoga and tai chi create space in the body, calm the mind, clear tension and keep things gently flowing
GET SOME INNER SPACE – writing, reading, art – all great to calm the mind and check in with ourselves
SUNSHINE & FRIENDS – go out when the suns out to lift seasonal flatness, and spend quality time playing with loved ones
GO TO BED EARLIER & GET UP LATER – to receive the full healing effects that sleep has to offer, and get up when the sun’s energy has risen so we don’t use too much of ours
WEAR A VEST– keep the lower back and kidney area warm
WARM FEET– the kidney channel starts on the sole of feet – try soaking in warm water before bed to nourish Kidney energy, and encourage good sleep
SEASONAL FRUIT & VEG, AVOID COLD FOODS – warming, slow cooked, hearty, comforting stews, hot pots, soups and porridge, root veg, apples, pears – cooked, roasted nuts, all warm the body’s core
LAST BUT NOT LEAST....
HAVE ACUPUNCTURE! – as well as any specific aches, pains and troubles, seasonal acupuncture treatments in winter serve to nourish our reserve energy, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress, aid in healing, prevent illness and increase vitality. So schedule your seasonal tune up today!
Book online here
“Complementing the body in winter, one will defeat a tiger in the coming spring”