|Posted on December 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM|
Some of us look forward to this time of year. The air is so fresh and clean. Soon we will enjoy the silence of snow. Summer and fall are loud months. Voices carry on the wind, on the water and people are always outside laughing, talking and being busy. Have you ever noticed how much snow insulates and buffers out noise and sounds? If you are a “water element” like myself, you will look forward to the quiet, slower pace of winter.
Winter is a time of hibernation, contemplation, introspection, getting in touch with our passions and dreaming. In Chinese medicine, winter is correlated to water, dark blue, black, willpower and potential. Like a seed we “go underground”. The emotion of water is fear, the sound is groaning and the organs affected are bladder and kidneys. The kidneys “open to the ears”, support bones, influence hair growth, lay the foundation for reproduction and fertility and are the source of our life force.
The ancient sages tell us to live in harmony with nature and the patterns of the seasons. Winter is the season to conserve energy, heal, recuperate, regenerate and rest. Even though we have electricity to extend our ability to stay up and work late, it is a good idea to go to bed earlier, sleep a little longer and rest more. It is important, especially as winter approaches, to protect our kidneys by keeping our lower back warm and eating foods to support kidney health.
The foods we need to consider for winter include salty and bitter flavours. These support the kidneys or “water energy” because they promote a sinking, centering quality. Bitter foods include endive, watercress, turnip, celery, asparagus, alfalfa, rye, oats, quinoa, amaranth and citrus peels. Bitter herbs include chicory root, dandelion root and burdock root. Salty foods include, miso, soya sauce, seaweeds, salt, millet and barley. Use these foods in warm hearty soups with warm spices like black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and onion. Include warming meats like pork or shellfish, eggs, small dark beans and steamed/cooked greens and vegetables. Also cook foods longer, at lower temperatures with less water.
It is OK to put on the odd pound or two, but keep mobile to keep from getting stiff. A gentle movement therapy like my Five Element Dance is good way to do that. Avoid fasting, strict low calorie diets, lots of cold raw food and cleanses in the upcoming cold months. It is also a good idea to reduce the intensity of any rigorous exercise regimes until spring.
If you want to burst forth in spring with aspirations of good health and lots of energy, this is the time to lay the foundation for that to happen. Now is a good time to come see me for a diagnosis and suggestions to improve any imbalances. You can always book a free consult and see sample of my dance at www.holisticacupuncture.ca.
Happy Holidays Everyone!