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Traditional Chinese Wisdom: Winter

Traditional Chinese Wisdom: Winter

In nature, winter is a time of closing and storing. As participants in the natural world Traditional Chinese Medicine wisdom asks us to do the same. Winter is a time to conserve our yang energy by refraining from vigorous exercise, strain or emotional drama. It is a time of rest and restoration, a time of deep reflection. Neglecting to abide by the natural rhythms of the season can damage the yin and yang of Kidneys as well as cause qi deficiency. Draining this energy weakens our health, longevity and concentration, also diminishing our ability to recover from illness and injury. “To push forward and stay active during the winter months harms the kidneys and causes premature aging and death. Rest, sleep and retrospection nourish the kidneys and inwardly prepare us for a fresh spring and productive summer.

Self Care During Winter

Winter time brings colder and drier climate conditions. The nature of cold is to contract and dryness also adds to the tightening of our tissues. Externally we may feel increased tension from cold in our necks and upper backs. Internally, we may feel our airways, throat or chest tightening from breathing in the cold air. Mucous membranes line our sinuses, lungs and intestines and like to be warm and moist. To counteract the dry and cold we should include warming, expansive and moistening foods and beverages in our diet such as warm herbal teas, broths, stocks, soups and stews. Taking warm baths, doing steam inhalations, steam baths or using vaporizers are also good.

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