It seemed not a moment ago when we were talking about preparing for Autumn, and yet here we are (in the Northern hemisphere) entering into the coldness of Winter.
Personally, I am feeling the deep pull to start slowing down. Coming to the end of the year (especially this year) and I am feeling mentally and physically exhausted.
But this is the perfect time to practice this slowness and stillness. Winter is the utmost Yin time of year.
It is the time to move inside, to become more still.
Winter is also aligned, in acupuncture, with the Kidneys and the Bladder and so during this time, it is also important to nourish these organs.
To help with the change in season and nourishing the Kidneys you can start practising the following:
Keep your scarf on. I would also suggest a haramaki which is a belly wrap to help your kidneys stay warm.
Try a homemade foot bath with Epsom salts. This will help warm your feet (Kidney 1 is on the sole of your feet) and in turn, will warm the rest of your body. I would also suggest wearing socks to bed.
Practice stillness with meditation practices. I have yet to find a practice that wholly works for me, so please feel free to send me any suggestions.
Whilst Winter is utmost Yin and we encourage stillness, it is also still important to take light exercise to keep the spine and joints working properly. In Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys and bones are intrinsically linked. You could try one of Carly's YouTube classes. She has some short simple flows that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Chinese Nutrition Advice
During these months we can make some changes to our foods. These changes will allow us to keep our bodies warm and also help the Kidneys.
Eat foods that warm your core. This can be soups, stews, slow-cooked meals. Ideally, anything that takes longer to cook, at lower temperatures and with less water
The flavour associated with the Kidneys and Water element is salt. However, an excess of salt can conversely weaken the Kidneys.
Foods that fortify the Kidneys are considered to be black, or dark, in colour e.g. black sesame seeds, figs, shiitake mushrooms, seaweeds, clove
Bitter foods can also be beneficial for the Kidneys. Turnip, asparagus, watercress are all beneficial.
I hope you find this useful. Feel free to get in touch.
Love your fave (Letchworth) acupuncturist
1 leek diced
2 carrots sliced
1/2 cabbage sliced
1 butternut squash diced
2.3 litres of hot water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Saute leeks, carrots, cabbage and squash for 10 minutes
Add the water and salt
Reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes
Recipe from Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford