This week, we're exploring winter through the lens of traditional Chinese medicine and learning how to best take care of ourselves in harmony with nature's seasons. Nature's cycles are deeply connected to our human life as well as the ways we can manage overall health and wellbeing. Let's dive in!
Winter is a more inward and sensitive time. Nature is in her resting season — quiet, withdrawn, deep in her roots preparing for spring. You might also notice that you're going deeper within yourself, seeking replenishment, rest, and reflection during these cold months.
To really understand the behind-the-scenes of the season, we gotta get down to earth.🌍 Winter's element is water. 🌊 Water is fluid and adaptable, the essential medium of your body. It can be warm and loving, or cold and frightening; its state is ever-changing. Our bodies are about 75% water, just like our earth — coincidence, we think not.
The body organ associated with winter is the kidneys- you know, the organ that deals the most with the body's fluids (see where we're going with this?) The kidneys are also storage organs. The sense organ connected to this season (and indirectly to the kidneys) is your ears! (Hear us out on this one 😉 ) Ears are a receptive organ, and water is a receptive element. Both listen to sound and are open to energy inputs. Notice that both the ears and kidneys are shaped like embryos, and embryos are developed in the water medium through which sound travels.🤯
Winter is yin energy and can be connected to the reflective nature of the moon, closely tied to the feminine, the subconscious, and emotional body. Like the moon, we all have our cycles. Many of us have cycles where we hold in emotions then experience some release. Emotional imbalances that can arise in winter often present in the form of fear or sadness. Nearly 20% of Americans suffer from the Winter Blues each year, and about 5% of people in the United States are clinically diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for around 40% of the year. So don't worry, you're not the only one.😅
With increased awareness and expression of these feelings, our energy has space to lighten and brighten. When our mental and physical health is balanced in winter, the water element allows for fluidity and flow, the ability to rest and nourish oneself and others. When we're in harmony, winter can be a time to refocus our perceptions and explore our reflections; it can be super helpful to have outlets for expression too! Somewhere to put all the feels — whether writing, moving, speaking, painting, knitting, whatever works for you! 🥰