Boost your immunity and spirit this Winter!
Welcome to the season of rest, when Yin (dark, female, cold) energy prevails and Yang (light, male, heat) withdraws. Animals hibernate, trees shed their leaves. When we live in harmony with the seasons, we are urged to slow down, conserve our energy and reflect on health.
Cold by nature contracts and slows the natural flow of body substances, making us even colder. In winter can be seen in lowered immunity, poor circulation, aches and pains, asthma, arthritis or colitis.
Of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) winter is related to the water, and its associated organs the Kidneys and Bladder – both of which are susceptible to the cold. Winter is the time to nourish our kidney energy. Used in times of stress, this energy helps us regenerate, heal and prevent illness, and over sees our aging processes and sexual energies.
The practices of qi gong and yoga are a fantastic way to move and nourish the body’s resources without exhausting them. If running or cycling is in your blood, tune into your body. Exercise once the atmosphere has warmed, maybe starting your river loop a little later in the day. Once you start to sweat your pores open, making you more vulnerable to the cold, further lowering your immunity. Rug up as you generate speed, and especially when you stop.
Avoid raw foods in favor of soups and stews.
Root vegetables are plentiful, and provide grounding and satiety.
Beans, miso, seaweed and an abundance of greens delivers nutrient packed goodness to your bones and blood. Garlic and ginger will bring you warmth, depth and favor in addition to a super boost for your immunity. Seasoning with pepper, cinnamon and cloves will assist your circulation and keep your digestion from slowing. A freshly made chai tea is the perfect addition to a winter’s day!
If you start to feel body aches or the signs of a cold, now is the time to visit your acupuncturist. Treatment at the on set of a flu can prevent it from taking hold, or can assist to push it through your system so its duration is reduced. Your immunity will be supported and you will be back on your feet, stronger than before!
Image: Lake St Clair, TAS Australia 2015. Sun rise. -1 Degrees (Unconfirmed).