Wanna know what relationship winter and Chinese medicine have? Wanna know how to optimise your health for this season? Read on to know more.
Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons and according to the Yin and Yang theory winter is the most Yin of the four seasons. Winter represents the most Yin aspect of Chinese Medicine theory. Yin is the cold, dark, slow, introverted energy that opposes to summer Yang energies which have warm, light, quick, extroverted qualities.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine winter is associated with the Water element and related to the Kidneys and Bladder organ systems.
The Kidneys hold our body’s most vital and fundamental energies, the innate or prenatal energy and the acquired or postnatal energy.
Harmonising our life style with the seasons, allows us to feel healthier and prevent disease. Winter is a good season to strengthen our vital energy and safeguard the functioning of the Kidneys. To rest during this cold and grey season is very important to preserve the Kidney energy, which is why some animals hibernate in winter. It is also an ideal time of the year to be more introverted, to reflect, meditate, plan and connect with ourselves. These kind of activities help support the Kidney energy.
Here a few suggestions you can implement for a healthier winter:
- sleep early and wake late (sleeping more hours in the winter is paramount to preserve vital energy)
- do meditative and relaxed activities and light, less vigorous exercise
- eat seasonal fruit and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears, persimmons, oranges, mandarins, grapes, broccoli, spinach, sweet peppers, peas, zucchini
- eat foods that are associated and strengthen the Kidney system like black and kidney beans, broth cooked with bones, lamb, chicken, walnuts, black sesame seeds and dark leafy greens
- drink and hydrate sufficiently
- eat warm and cooked foods, avoid cold and raw foods
- strengthen your immune system with acupuncture or/and herbal supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers several options especially formulated for the change of season. We highly suggest to find a Chinese Medicine Practitioner trained in herbal medicine
Enjoy the energy of the winter and stay healthy and happy!