by Chris Hammond M.Ac.,L.Ac.
The Chinese studied nature inside the human body by studying nature outside. The human body is just a microcosm. Just as there are different energetics with each season, there are corresponding energetics with each organ system. Winter corresponds to the kidney and bladder, spring to the liver and gall bladder, summer to the heart, pericardium, small intestine and triple energizer, late summer to the spleen and stomach, and fall to the lungs and large intestines. It is important that we are able to live in sync with each season of the year, this will be reflected as harmony in our bodies.
Winter time is one of the harder times of the year for many Americans. Outer nature is quiet, hibernating and resting. Americans are often busy, stressed and engaged. This is a huge contrast. Our way of life often synchs well with the spring and summer seasons but not with the winter. In the winter nature goes back into itself, builds up potential, and slingshots forward in the spring. If nature didn’t have the winter there would likely be a lack luster growth cycle.
We should seek to embody the qualities of the winter, not to an extreme but to tend in that direction. That means getting more sleep, having more quiet time, more stillness, more relaxation time, less busyness, less engagement with the world, and less activity. Food wise we should focus on eating warm, substantive, and hearty foods. Look to eat more root vegetables or close to the ground vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, squash, and pumpkin. Also warm soups, broths and teas, organic meats, eggs, and hearty grains. Refrain from foods that are cold such as raw fruits or vegetables or cold beverages. If you find yourself cutting short in these areas especially during the winter, it would be wise to strengthen these qualities. The price paid over time leads to burn out and exhaustion.
Acupuncture is a great aid in tuning our body’s rhythm to the winter. It helps the body and mind come down, relax and rest and assists in building the body’s reserves. The corrspondant meridians are the kidney and bladder. They relate to the deep reserves of energy in our body which often become depleted if we are “burning the candle at both ends”. They also relate to the deepest part of our body; the marrow and the bones. If we take care of our deep reserves we can expect more energy, a slower aging process, more resiliency to stress and less susceptibility to illness. If we don’t take care of our deep reserves we can expect the opposite. The quality of our health often rests in our hands, it’s often a matter of making good choices which pay great dividends over time.
Chris is a practitioner here at Howard County Holistic Center. Visit his page to make an appointment or for more information.