Winter Wellness from a Chinese Medicine & Ayurvedic perspective

Winter has arrived in a hurry on the Granite Belt with low temperatures, blue days and our first frosts. Below I share a Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic perspective to the winter season. 

In TCM, winter is related to the water element which is linked to the structural integrity of our body and the kidney and bladder organs. The kidneys hold our vital essence, the fundamental energy, known as Jing in Chinese Medicine. If the Jing is strong, the person’s constitution is strong. If the Jing is weak, the person’s constitution is weak and more susceptible to illness. The kidneys are considered to be the spark of life and the foundation of vitality. The Kidney’s support strong sexual function, maintain healthy bones and marrow, and allow for strong memory and concentration. Emotionally, it supplies us with strong willpower, determination, and motivation. 

Stress, lack of rest, overwork and exhaustion depletes the kidney’s. Too much sugar, salt and too little water in the diet can also cause imbalances in the kidneys and in the bladder. Winter is the ideal time of the year to deal with kidney and bladder imbalances including lower back pain, knee pain, stress, fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and hormonal imbalances.

Just like TCM, Ayurveda attributes winter to the water element (also the earth element). Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is known as the science of life. Ayurveda, differentiates the seasons of the year by the cycles of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Doshas refer to your physical and mental constitution, how the three doshas appear, and in what proportion is what makes each of us unique. Winter is Kapha season and Kapha governs the structure of the body and forms the muscles, fat, bones and sinew. When Kapha is aggravated it may manifest as excess mucus, coughs, sluggishness, sticky stools, lethargy and weight gain. In drier winter climates the presence of Vata may manifest as dry skin, brittle nails, chills, poor circulation, dehydration and dry stools. 

Over the next couple of months I will be sharing food and wellness rituals that can support us to stay healthy during winter and rebuild our energy for the rest of the year ahead. Weekly yoga classes will be designed to keep the joints and bones strong, calm the nervous system and boost the immune system. Weekly Acupuncture sessions are available on Thursday’s and Friday’s in Stanthorpe. 

Jes from Essence of my heart and I will be offering a Yin & Pin workshop in July. This is a really special workshop that includes yin yoga followed by a meditative acupuncture treatment. Specially chosen acupuncture points will restore the body’s energy, boost the immune system and reduce stress to allow for deep healing. https://essenceofmyheart.com.au/events/ for more information or bookings. 

Namaste, Stacy.

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The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, advises: “Retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in winter … The theory of the winter season is one of conservation and storage. Without such practice, the result will be injury to the kidney energy. This will cause weakness, shrinking of muscles and coldness; then the body loses its ability to open and move about in the spring.”

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