Chinese Medicine and the Winter Season

The winter solstice begins this week, and with it the change in subtle energies from fall to winter is complete. Chinese Medicine, which has evolved over thousands of years, is still used today to effectively treat illness and disease.

A basic premise of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that true health is created when we live in harmony with nature. Living in harmony with the changing seasons (changing our diet and habits to conform to the present season) creates balance between our bodies and our environment. We are ushering in the season of winter and the water element, which is represented by the Kidney and Bladder Meridians, or energy pathways.

Kidney represents the yin (dark, cold, slow, inward) energy and Bladder represents the yang (lighter, hot, quick, expansive) energy. Winter is a good time to strengthen the kidneys. A good way to do this is to get adequate rest and avoid chills. Dressing for the weather is an important aspect of staying healthy.

Other associations of the Kidney Meridian are:

  • It stores our essence
  • Produces marrow and fills the brain
  • Controls the bones
  • Governs the water
  • Associated with the ears and hair
  • Houses the will power
  • Vitality

Foods to support kidney and bladder are bone broths, warm, hearty soups, miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, lettuce, endive, salt, millet, and barley.