Season of Winter

February 11th, 2015


According to Chinese medicine the season of winter corresponds to the Water element. The organs associated with the Water element are the Bladder (yang) and Kidneys (yin). Water is the essential medium in your body through which all things pass. Water is important for the following bodily functions: the circulation of blood, lymphatic flow, and for the flow of urine, saliva, perspiration, tears, and sexual fluids.

Winter’s power is deep and yin. It is a time to conserve your energy and resources and not be wasteful with your yang energy. People should retire early at night and rise later in the morning. This is a powerful time for inner development and creating stronger bonds with family and friends.

The winter diet should be warming and substantial with more whole grains, less fruit, lots of steamed or baked vegetables, more dairy, and lean meats. Soups, (e.g. miso), stews, seafood, and seaweed are especially good now. Herbal teas such as ginseng, ginger, burdock, comfrey, licorice, and sarsaparilla are all good energizers.

Also, it is a good time to do indoor exercises such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, and meditation. These exercises help build up internal energy (Qi) which keeps you healthy, young and strong. They are good for nourishing your Kidney energy.

Functions of the Kidneys according to Chinese medicine are the following: it stores essence or jing, controls the reception of Qi from the lungs, governs water, produces marrow (for the brain), it’s the residence of the will, it opens into the ears treating ear issues, manifests in head hair, controls bones (especially the knees), and governs orifices (urethral, anal). So it is essential to nourish these organs especially at this time of year.

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