Winter… time to build and restore energy
Winter is the time of the Water element in Chinese Medicine, the time to rest and go within and replenish the Qi (life force energy) that have depleted over the high energy spring and summer months. To take the focus away from the world and restore your Qi to support the Kidneys to nourish, maintain and strengthen bones, teeth and hair as well as our sexual function, hearing and our growth. It is the time to sleep and dream of your visions and desires as you rest. Like the seed nourished by the earth in winter, it’s time to restore energy and build your strength to give you the courage you need to create your life anew in spring.
The kidneys, according to Chinese Medicine, serve the larger function of storing and distributing the life energy for the entire body and the kidneys and bladder organs work together to regulate the movement of water throughout the entire body. When there is an imbalance the resultant attitude is fear which has a contracting effect, slowing down the circulation and bodily fluids.
Some ways to build and restore your life force energy…
- Support the kidneys and bladder by drinking plenty of water – preferably room temperature or warmer
- Go to bed earlier and get up later, like the Sun in Winter
- Creative expression through drawing, painting, craft or dance
- Hara breathing to build up the store of Qi in the hara (the lower part of the belly)
- Eat warming foods in winter, such as soups and stews, ahchovies, bay leaves, capers, chestnuts, chicken, coriander, dill, fennel, leek, mussels, nutmeg, pine nuts, rosemary spring onions, prawns, sweet potatoes and walnuts, kidney beans, squid, millet, barley, sesame seeds and lamb.
- Start your day with a warming breakfast such as a bowl of porridge or rice congee.
- Stay warm by rugging up
In our day to day lives, the health of our kidneys can be seen in our hair – hair loss, premature greying or split ends; or ear problems such as ear infections or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Balancing the kidney/bladder energy enables us to overcome the negative impact of mental, emotional, or physical stagnation and gives us freedom from fear and improves our willpower.
Rest well and stay warm