In Chinese medicine Winter is related to the Kidney meridian and linked with Yin aspects - the dark, slow, inward energy intrinsically connected to the element of water. In terms of physiological connection, water is linked most closely to our kidneys, which also hold our body's most basic essential and fundamental energy.
Tips for winter
Some tips for winter include making sure you dedicate time to rest. The Spanish know how to nourish themselves via daily siestas. 20 minutes during the day to revitalise the kidneys is recommended. Try to go to sleep a bit earlier in the evening, in sync with the shorter winter day lengths. Many mammals hibernate or significantly reduce their activity levels in winter, but we ‘wise’ humans insist on maintaining our busy lifestyles throughout a time where nature is giving us the obvious signals to slow down. Therefore, it is important to look inward and reflect on ourselves through this period, using practices that cultivate the mind, body and soul, like meditation, writing, painting, music, Tai Chi and Qi gong. By devoting time to these reflective practices, we reconnect with our inner selves and support the all-important kidney energy through the winter months.
The classics teach us that the kidney energy rules bones so another winter physiological association is the link between our kidneys and skeletal structure, our bones, which means it is very important to tonify and heal any problems relating to this system.
Jing is the essence within and individuals body and is controlled by the kidneys. To nourish the kidney and there for your Jing Delicious bone broth is a powerful Dietary supplemen. Winter is the best time to supplement the body's Jing supply. It's wise to support your Jing as depleting Jing can lead to accelerated aging.
The Chinese body clock teaches us within the 24hr cycle each organ has a focused 2hrs. The kidneys time is 5pm to 7pm. The kidneys are regarded as incredibly important for the roles they play. They are responsible for healthy reproduction, development, and growth of a an unborn child and as we age.
Activities that support the kidneys
Here are some suggestions of activities that support the Kidneys.
Healthy meal (but not too large) with a little sea salt for flavouring.
Love making, yes that correct, loving making keeps your kidney ‘essence’ strong! When the kidney meridian is out of balance, symptoms that may arise include sexual difficulties, low back pain, or premature greying of hair.
Things that harm the kidneys include too much salt, not enough water, stress, prolonged and intense fear.
In terms of ailments that can arise or seem more prominent in the winter months that acupuncture can be used are:
* Bone injuries
* Lack of energy
* Colds and flu
* Bladder and kidney infection
* Knee pain
* Cavities in the teeth
* Weak or broken bones
* Hair loss
* Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
* Increase of phobias or fears.
Acupuncture as a preventative medicine can help and treat colds and flues by building up the immune system through nourishing your Qi. To do this, we insert needles into specific points along the body's energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the outer defence layers of the skin and muscle (Wei Qi) bolstering our resilience to cold and flu viruses.
The best tip of all is to always keep your feet and lower back warm through winter, as the kidney meridian begins at the sole of our feet. On that note, winter is a great opportunity to put on our lovely, bright winter woollies, don’t be afraid of that bright pink jumper which brings some much-needed cheer into our lives on the colder days.
I hope you have a lovely winter season and don't forget to be kind with yourself. Life is beautiful and especially with you in this world.
By Sylvia Flores Larrain