Happy New Year! The excitement of the holiday is over and now we can move in the dead of winter. It’s a perfect time to be more introspective, set new goals, and nurture your whole being, according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM has its roots in the philosophy that people should live in harmony with their environment – and in the winter, this means a slowdown in the colder months, draws deeply, and keep warm and well rested in order to grow the seeds of a renewed vitality in the new year. As nature slows down and hibernate during the winter, the process of new growth and regeneration in the spring has already begun at home.
Winter is a great opportunity for retrospection, meditation and the exploration of deeper issues. To do this, we need to reduce speed. In fact, we are usually so busy that they are not even aware of the neurotic our thoughts and actions. The more slowly through meditation, relaxation, or just taking time off, you may be overwhelmed by the recognition of our quick and full of life into reality. If we take the time to really relax and slower winter season can be a source of deep intuition and deep inner introspection. This natural process can lead to “stuff” that is stuck below the surface of our trivia questions, thoughts or models that may have been heading to avoid too heavy. Just leave these questions to ask, display and rotate as calming the mind through meditation and simple breathing practices. Allow this process to take place during the winter can have a quality very different from peeling process that we engage in during the spring and fall cleaning. The end result may be similar, but different organ systems, emotions and patterns are concerned. This level of medicine mind / heart is an integral part of comprehensive health care and the winter season really is a great opportunity to discover the full benefits of meditation.
In accordance with the principles of TCM, winter is associated with the element water and affects the health of the kidneys, bladder, adrenal gland, bone (including bone marrow) and teeth. In TCM, the kidneys are the main source of vitality, energy and heat as well as the vital essence. The energy is derived from this source during periods of stress and anxiety, or when the body needs to heal. During the cold winter, which is essential to maintain healthy kidneys and adrenal glands as proper nutrition and supplementation, good hydration, and energy practices such as yoga and tai chi, which help keep the heart warm and well fed.
According to TCM, the winter is at rest, cold and wet in nature, related to feelings like fear and depression tend to have more influence on this season. In Western medicine, many people are diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a particular form of depression / anxiety that occurs during the dark months due mainly to lack of sunlight. Women often experience this condition more than men and the result is in a bad mood, lack of energy, increased irritability of weight due to overeating and fatigue. In addition to vitamin D-3, I recommend you open the curtains during the day to allow sunlight to enter and take a brisk walk (in the sun if possible) to improve circulation and blood flow. Practice of meditation that helps calm the mind and heart are also very useful during the winter season.
The heating of nutritious foods
In the cold winter months, people tend to exercise less, are more sedentary and want comfort food calories. However, it is important to pay close attention to the amount and type of food you eat during this time, to prevent unhealthy weight gain. According to TCM, it is also important to avoid raw foods many during the winter, as they tend to cool the body and can reduce the digestive “fire” is the ability to digest food efficiently. I recommend eating hot while cooking temperatures and lower longer with less water. They focus on soups and stews, root vegetables, many green leafy vegetables, kidney and black beans, walnuts, black sesame seeds, whole grains and seaweed. These specific foods help strengthen the kidneys, increased emotions, nourish the body and keeps you warm and help you save energy.
Botanicals and nutrients that promote healthy immune system during the winter are an important complement to survive the cold and flu season. The high quality medicinal mushrooms are potent immune modulators, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D-3. Other supplements include powerful immune and modified citrus pectin, a Tibetan herbal formula with more than three decades of clinical research. Purified honokiol (magnolia bark extract) can help with mood support and a complete digestive formula can maintain the support of strong digestion for optimum power absorption of nutrients. Other highlights for TCM herbal tonic herbal winter are deep heating properties, land and construction.
People are more susceptible to colds and flu during the winter season as cold immune challenges. The main treatment modalities in TCM are acupuncture and moxa burning (burning moxa herb, Artemisia, around specific acupuncture points), Qi Gong (specific exercises to improve the flow of vital energy), the recommendations specific dietary and an extensive pharmacopoeia of herbal medicine. All of these therapies are very valuable during the winter, because they help relieve energy stagnation caused by inactivity and cold weather. TCM practitioners also recommend as much rest as possible during the winter, making it possible to reconstruct the kidneys and restore vital energy. Go to bed early and rise before dawn to help you stay warm and vitality.
Traditional Chinese medicine reflects an innate connection with nature in every season offers opportunities for transformation, healing and growth. The winter season offers a greater understanding and food, seed, and that our intentions can develop at home before they flower in spring. So stay warm, hydrated and nourished, and give time and space to slow down, relax and meditate at this time of profound stillness.