Flowing into Winter: With the Water Element and our Kidneys
Good bye fast passed, big energy summer! It is always a full season, sad to see you go, but it is nice to slow down a couple of beats and relax into winter.
As the seasons change it is a good reminder that we are animals and we are connected to these natural changes. Allow yourself to move into the winter season in harmony by following the wisdom of Chinese Medicine. What does this mean for you? Knitting, cooking from scratch, lighting candles, reading, journaling, or meditation.
Whether you dread the shorter days, or crave the slowness winter brings, "the teachings and practices of Chinese Medicine supports the body, mind and spirit in the midst of change. In preparation for winter, our focus turns to strengthening the water element’s organ system pair, the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder, and practice that which we observe in nature: stillness and conservation." (Balance Acupuncture, 2019)
The saying, "Retire early and rise with the sun" reminds us to follow the shorter days and follow the natural rhythm of nature.
Winter is a time to rest, reflect, restore, flow like water, be still, conserve, focus, and connect to our core. These practices allow us to restore vitality and replenish the energy that was used up throughout the year.
In Chinese Medicine there are certain components associated with each season, the following is for winter:
Element is water
Yin organ is Kidney
Yang organ is Urinary Bladder
Climate is Cold
Emotion is Fear
Spirit is Zhi (willpower)
Colour is Dark Blue/Black
Taste is Salty
Sense organ is Ears
Tissues are Bones
Virtues are Strength, Courage, and Wisdom
"Winter is an opportunity to focus on the health and spirit of the kidneys and urinary bladder, restore their resources and better manage our reserves. Slowing down, getting plenty of rest, eating well and in-season, drinking lots of fluids, and adapting a restorative wellness routine will support these organ systems and boost their vitality" (Balance Acupuncture, 2019).
The simple act of drinking tea is both restorative, meditative, but also supports the kidneys and urinary bladder.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" -Benjamin Franklin.
Honour when you're feeling like resting, don't let guilt creep in and force you to be active. This deep Yin time gives us the needed energy, vision and purpose to emerge into spring, the season of growth, and renewal of spirit.