According to traditional Chinese medicine, people should live in harmony with the changing of the seasons. Winter, spring, summer, late summer, and fall are the five seasons. Each season has a variety of connections that encourage us to alter our routines and achieve a more harmonious state of mind and body. These systems were created during a time when humans lived in harmony with the environment.
People were considerably more conscious of their natural surroundings and got up with the sun. They also ate what was in season. The weather and the surroundings dictated what to wear when to get up, when to go to bed, and what things to do. As a result, people were able to maintain good health all year long and had strong organ and immune systems that could fight off disease.
Unfortunately, people nowadays aren’t used to doing this. That’s why many people get sick during the winter season. In this article, we’ll share five self care tips for winter.
- Relax and get some rest
Winter is a time of rest and renewal in TCM. The kidneys, which store the body’s essential energies, are related to winter. The kidneys need rest to regenerate. Because of this, several animals spend the winter months in hibernation. In order to better prepare our bodies for the months ahead, when most people use more energy, we should also spend more time relaxing throughout the winter.
- Self reflect
Winter is a great season for introspection and reflection. Yoga, qi gong, and other winter-appropriate exercises can be very helpful. These exercises support the kidney energy while assisting us in connecting with our inner selves. They also aid in mental and emotional calmness. Other ways to ponder during the winter include journaling and meditation. These habits have the potential to significantly lengthen a person’s life in the long run.
- Consume a lot of water
It is crucial to remember to drink water throughout the winter because the kidneys are intimately related to and regulated by the water element, which is the element connected to winter. Drinking water at room temperature is essential for ensuring that there is enough renal qi throughout the winter.
- Eat hot, seasonal foods.
Foods that naturally develop throughout the winter should be chosen. The following foods are excellent: apples, pears, cabbage, squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, greens, carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided throughout the winter since they weaken the immune system.
Walnuts, quinoa, asparagus, celery, onion, fennel, scallions, cloves, watercress, kidney beans, black beans, beef, goose, duck, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, and turnips are additional foods that target and feed the kidneys specifically. Because salty is the flavor connected to the kidneys, sea salt is also beneficial. The key to everything is moderation. In fact, too much salt can strain the heart, which makes the kidneys work harder.
- Treat yourself to traditional Chinese medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine employs a variety of techniques and methods to assist the body stay in balance and get ready for the changing seasons. Moxibustion and acupuncture are two methods frequently employed to strengthen renal qi. In the practice of moxibustion, dried mugwort is burned extremely close to the skin to warm and stimulate the body’s qi.
Acupuncture locations that are crucial for enhancing renal qi are specific. The majority of kidneys are found on the lower abdomen, below the umbilicus, or on the lower back, above the hip bones, in the locations of the kidneys. The energy reserves of the kidneys can be increased by using moxibustion in these locations. Our bodies will adapt and function at their best, precisely as they are meant to, when we match ourselves with life’s natural cycles and the seasons.