Shining Tree
Shining Tree

Hooray…its winter…….

The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy and conserve our strength.

Winter is Yin in nature; it is inactive, cold, and damp.  Remain introspective, restful, and consolidate your Qi through the season and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.

Element: Water
Nature: Yin
Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears and Hair
Emotion: Fear and Depression
Flavor: Salty

Winter is ruled by the Water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the source of all energy or “Qi” within the body.  They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.

During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidneyQi.  It is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter – rest, reflection, conservation and storage.

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early and rise late, after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming in the face of cold.

Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished.  Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy. Release stress through exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation.

Enjoy this time…it wont last….