Happy New Year!
Although the passing of Solstice signals that we are beginning to move out of the dark days of winter, we still have a few months of cold before us. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Winter is the most yin of the seasons. A time when life has returned to its deepest inner aspects. Now, many animals are hibernating or have moved to warmer climates, plant life has returned to its roots, and people are staying indoors to escape the cold.
According to Chinese medicine, the Kidneys are the organs associated with Winter. In Chinese medical theory, the “Kidneys” would include not only their function of blood filtration, but also the adrenal glands that sit atop them. At this time of the year, the Kidneys are more active and potentially more vulnerable to depletion than at other times.
In TCM it is believed that by harmonizing oneself with the seasons, you can avoid illness and promote great health. Therefore, during the Winter it is a good time to focus on strengthening the Kidneys.
In the cold months, Man’s energy moves inward, our subconscious mind following old, instinctual patterns as we tend to focus on thoughts of survival. On one hand, this can lead to a rise in levels of fear based emotions such as generalized anxiety. This is very natural considering that for all of our history, Winter has traditionally been a pretty tough time for humans with regard to survival. But as a result of this stress, the Kidneys can be overly taxed – unless one does something to mitigate the effects.
On the other hand, the positive side is that it is the perfect opportunity to look deeply into our selves to reflect on the past year, understand our present, and prepare for the coming year. Meditation, prayer, journaling, goal creating exercises,counseling, coaching and other techniques that reveal our deeper desires to our conscious mind can be very helpful. These tools support Kidney energy and have the ability to calm our emotions, relax the mind and raise our spirit.
Other ways to tonify the kidneys would include Qigong, Tai Chi or Yoga exercises, balancing foods, herbs, and acupuncture. These methods can help keep the Qi flowing smoothly and support the body’s physical and energetic health. They also can be tailored to the season to specifically support the Kidneys. Consult your local acupuncturist, Tai Chi or Yoga instructor for an approach that works for you.
This year consider making a New Year’s resolution to harmonize with the seasons. By doing so, you will have a better chance of greater health and success throughout the year!
For more info on Traditional Chinese Medicine check out : www.hughsacupuncture.com