A Chinese Medicine Perspective on Winter
Debrah Santi, M.S. L.Ac.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, we see things from a different perspective than in traditional western medicine. We talk about seasons, the organs and energetic systems of the body, along with the elements in order to help balance and restore the body to its optimal state of health.
During the winter season, we focus on the kidneys, which regulate the metabolism of water in the body, along with controlling the reception of “Qi”, or the life force. Essentially, winter is the season for introspection and rest.
As human beings, we often think we need to keep “doing” and striving to survive, but when we don’t listen to the natural rhythms of the seasons and our bodies, we may become exhausted, stressed, or create a breeding ground for illness in the body. Just as most plants and animals hibernate in the winter, we can also benefit from slowing down and building our reserves. Winter encourages us to nourish and deepen our connection to our life force energy which is stored in the kidneys.
Winter affords us the opportunity to slow down and reflect upon that which no longer serves our highest sense of well being and peace of mind. Letting go of old fears and limiting beliefs and getting more rest are important for revitalizing the kidneys. Gentle restorative practices such as Tai-Chi, Qi-Gong, Yin and restorative yoga can be very beneficial during the winter season and serve us by calming the spirit and relaxing the mind.
It is also important to nourish the body with food, and in particular, food that nourish the kidneys this time of year. These include: black beans, bone broths, lamb, chicken, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, dark leafy greens, squash, potatoes, root vegetables, winter greens, cabbage, carrots, apples, pears and mushrooms. Warming foods such as soups, bone broth and tea are highly recommended.
If you feel tired, depleted, or you get sick more often in the winter, your kidney Qi could be depleted. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to support your Qi and boost your immunity.
We offer a range of acupuncture and energy healing treatments including traditional acupuncture, Esoteric and Facial Rejuvenation acupuncture, cupping, nutritional support, and Reiki here at Trilogy. You can contact Debrah at [email protected] to learn more about how this can help you.