Winter and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Ancient Chinese practitioners believed it was necessary to live in harmony with the environment and to follow the patterns of Earth’s seasonal cycles.
During the winter cycle, the environment is in a state of hibernation. The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and plants and animals are conserving their energy in order to reemerge in the spring with enough energy to grow.
Just as in nature, humans should be practicing these habits: it is the ideal time to conserve strength, to reflect on the year, and to replenish your energy in order to have a new & strong growing season (spring). In TCM, the Kidneys are considered to be the root of yin and yang energy in the body. It is the source of all the Qi in the body.
As we enter into the winter season, there are many things we can practice to optimize our health and strengthen our bodies for the next season.
This is the time to be introspective and rest in order to consolidate the necessary Qi for the outburst of new life and energy come Spring time.
Some routines to practice during the Winter:
- go to sleep early
- get deep rest
- stay warm (warm socks and scarves!)
- avoid extraneous exercises
Sometimes the Winter months can bring about an increase in negative emotions. If you’ve been dealing with this, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. Watch below to learn more.
Guiding principles of Winter: rest, reflection, conservation, and storage.
Adding these practices into your daily routine helps to support your body in conserving Qi, which helps to prevent illness and make the transition into Spring smooth and successful!
Winter season characteristics:
- Element: Water
- Nature: Yin
- Organs: Kidney and Urinary Bladder
- Emotion: Fear and Depression