Navigating Winter with Chinese Medicine

Photo by Nikoli Afina on Unsplash

Today is the perfect winter day. It is snowing, cold, dark, damp and quiet. These are the adjectives that describe the most yin season in Chinese Medicine. This is the time to slow down, replenish our energy reserves, conserve our strength and spend time reflecting on our health and meditative pursuits.

The associations of winter in Chinese Medicine are Kidney Meridian, Bladder Meridian, adrenal glands, hair, and ears. The element is water, the taste is salty, and the emotions are fear and depression. In other posts, I’ve spoken about Kidney and Bladder Meridian, symptoms of imbalance and the foods which are recommended to improve health this time of year.

The most important role of the season of winter is to slow us down so we can nourish and replenish our energy for the coming activity of spring.

If you are less active in winter, you may want to reduce the quantity of food you consume. It is also advisable to eliminate raw foods and eat warming foods.

To avoid colds and flu during the season:

  • Get plenty of sleep – recommended 7- 8 hours a night
  • Wash your hands regularly, carrying disinfectant wipes and wiping flat surfaces, handles, and phones in public places can also go a long way during flu season.
  • Dress for the weather, be prepared with gloves, scarves or hats for drops in temperature.
  • Reduce your stress daily. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, walking or whatever exercise helps to release tension.
  • Take vitamin c, elderberry syrup, zinc lozenges to boost your immune system and drink plenty of water.

If you do become ill, take time away from your schedule to rest and heal.