In the five phases or elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, the element that corresponds to winter is Water. In nature winter is the season of hibernation; it’s just not for the animals, us humans should take a hint and follow suit in the sense of slowing down, conserving energy, and refuelling.
In nature, the energy (qi) descends and goes inwards in the atmosphere. The qi is very deep in the body and is conserving itself due to the lower amount of energy in the atmosphere. The Water element in Chinese medicine is linked with the Kidneys and Bladder. The Kidneys are spoken of a lot in Chinese medicine because of their importance; the energy we are born with (pre-natal qi inherited from our parents) is our kidney essence that acts as a reserve. This essence declines as we age or overtax the body.
The kidneys rule the ears, bones, teeth, head hair, lower body, brain, nervous system, will power, genito-urinary system. The taste associated with the kidneys is salty, and the colours black, and the emotion fear. It is important to nourish the kidneys during the winter months. It is time to slow down and nourish the body.
Supporting the Kidneys during Wintertime:
Rub the acupressure point Kidney 1 (Chinese: Yongquan, English translation: Gushing Spring) on the sole of your feet. Located in the exact centre of each foot. Massage with your thumb or gold/tennis ball, or really anything you have on hand that will work. This helps to ground the body and clear the head of excess thinking with a calming effect.
Foods to support the kidneys: black-blue foods, seafood, hearty soups, bone broth, miso soup, seaweed, beans, berries, walnuts, figs, anchovies, bay leaves, chicken, coriander, fennel, leek, pine nuts, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, millet, parsnip, turnip, sesame seeds.
Eat Less: raw foods, smoothies, sour, pungent (spicy).
Best cooking methods for winter: slowly, crockpot, baking, stews, soups, roasting.
Signs of Balance: strong bones and teeth, healthy hearing, healthy libido, energized, vitality,
Signs of imbalance: SAD (seasonal affective disorder), depression, low back pain, burning it at both ends, no will power/ no ‘get up and go’, fatigue, dark under-eye circles, frozen/ rigidity in in your ways, fear beliefs, low libido, frequent urination, teeth issues, joint aches and pains, irregular periods, night sweats.
Victoria Pumphrey is a Registered Acupuncturist, Certified Reflexologist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki/ Energy Worker. Helping clients with needs and goals using a combined approach for whole health. The services she offers are Acupuncturist, Reflexology, Holistic Nutrition, Reiki, and part of the wellness programs she offers Herbal Supplements are available.
With close to twenty years experience in the natural health field from being behind the scenes working in natural health products distribution to working one on one with clients, Victoria Pumphrey Acupuncture is happy to be serving clients in the greater Parry Sound area.