As we transition from Fall to Winter, we see life slowing down around us. The trees shed their leaves allowing them to conserve water in preparation for the harsh winter months. Similarly, the hibernating black bears drop their body temperatures and decrease their heart rates to conserve energy due to the scarcity of food at this time. They also have and nurse their babies during winter following the seasonal rhythms of life.
Nature rests to replenish itself in winter.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Taoist thought teach us that we too should abide and adjust to the change of seasons by following nature’s example. While in this state of rest, we are able to collect, preserve and store our energy which will release and burst into spring growth.
6 Ways to replenish your energy through the winter
• Adequate Rest:
– The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese medical text advises: “[In Winter], people should retire early at night and rise late in the morning, and they should wait for the rising of the sun.” Since this is nature’s season for rest, repair, and regeneration, we should follow this advice and get adequate sleep so that we will be bursting with energy as we go into Spring.
• Spend some time going inward
– Spending time on inward reflection will allow you to recharge and collect your energy by developing your inner self. This includes practices of meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and/ or Yoga.
• Dress Warm
– Make sure to bundle up, and take special care to cover the kidney area in the low back, head, neck and feet to prevent heat loss and the invasion of pathogenic factors, like viruses.
• Eat and Drink Warm
– Your body needs to generate more warmth in the depths of winter so eat more cooked warm foods like hearty soups or stews and drink warming liquids like ginger, cardamon, fennel or cinnamon tea.
• Warm your heart
– One way to warm your heart is by deepening your relationship with people who are closest to you. Meaningful relationships can nourish and replenish one’s heart, spirit and soul.
• Nourish your body
– Give your body an extra boost by consulting a TCM practitioner for herbal supplementation and acupuncture treatments
Try these 6 ways and see how ALIVE you will feel this spring.
Mary Wong B.Sc.,R.TCMP, R.Ac