Winter Health


snow field

Photo by Marney Lieberman

The Winter season corresponds to the Kidney – Water energy according to Chinese Medical Theory. Water – Kidney energy is quiet, internal, and sustaining. Seeds formed from last year’s plants are deep in the ground, keeping quiet, incubating until the rush of Spring.

We can nourish our own Kidney energy now by keeping our bodies warm, allowing our attention to turn inward, and letting the seeds of our ideas for the future hibernate until we hear or feel a call to action.

Harmonious lifestyle habits for the Winter season:

  • The kidneys are located in the region of the lower back. In Winter, it is especially important to keep this area covered and sheltered from the cold weather to protect your Kidney energy.
  • It is beneficial to shift your diet away from cold foods and incorporate more warm foods. Warm, hearty soups, long cooked meats and vegetables, fewer raw foods, salads, and iced drinks will help conserve the body’s natural heat.
  • Gentle exercise that does not cause excessive sweating.Try Taiji (“Tai Chi”), gentle yoga, and more meditation.
  • The nights are longer in Winter. To be in harmony with this season, it is natural to sleep a little longer than we do in the Summer, when the days are longer and the nights are shorter.

By observing the nature around us, we can learn about the nature within us. Even though we may live in circumstances that protect us from the extreme external fluctuations of the seasons, we are still in relationship to these changes. By using your own skills of observation and awareness, you can make changes to your daily habits that will best support you through the changing seasons.

About The Author

Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.

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