WINTER: THE SEASON OF STILLNESS
In the tradition of five element acupuncture winter teaches us that the only way to fully enjoy the powers of the season is to surrender to it and learn from what it has to offer us. In winter nature seems to be at rest, nature appears frozen and dead. In this deep stillness of nature, winter calls us to look into our depths, to reconnect to our inner being, to befriend the darkness within us and around us, finding our Yin Qi. In winter the seeds that are beginning their rebirth and starting to manifest their destiny in the deep recesses of the earth, we can look within and find our energies are being called to examine the depths of our being and replenish ourselves.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine says “In winter all is hidden. Winter is the season of retirement into depth, because of the cold outside. At this time you must not disturb or disperse the yang (Fire, active) energy so that you can allow the yin reserves to be re-established within you.”
Going to the depth into your Yin Qi is the place where we are often afraid to journey. In this season of darkness and stillness, we try to fill it with what appears to be light and movement. We celebrate the holidays, eat and drink heartily, socialize frequently, and try to avoid the aloneness that winter calls us to, without realizing that the entry to our inner world is most accessible during this time of the year.
How to Keep Healthy and Joyful During Winter
• Practice Self-acceptance: We all have fears, these can freeze us so that we feel stuck and hopeless, but observing our fears without judging them can liberate us from the stagnation that fear feeds. We need to learn the gentle art of witnessing to ourselves without judging ourselves. Rather than attempting to overcome our fears, we can learn to recognise and accept them. Self-awareness and self-acceptance burns and thaws our fears so that we become fluid in body, mind and spirit and can move on healthfully.
• Take Time to Listen and Recharge Listen to your body, and take time to replenish your reserves, which will be needed during the surges of spring. Winter is a time to recharge, learn to listen to what others have to say and listen to your heart speaking to you. This is a time of receiving, not doing. Be patient with your self and those around you.
• Nurture Yourself Inwardly Imagine that the ideas and images that have been planted and are germinating within you, as in a garden, will begin to sprout in the spring. Nurture these images of hope, but allow them to grow and develop within you quietly and naturally, just as plants grow.
• Nourish Yourself Well Nourish yourself with warm food and drink lots of water, winter sucks the moisture out of your body. It is very important to hydrate by drinking fresh water daily. Eat warming foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of meat or fish protein. If you are a vegetarian, eat more beans, nuts, and tempeh.
• Keep Warm Prepare for the weather, and dress accordingly. Traditional five element acupuncture recognises that the neck and shoulder areas contain the Wind points through which pathogens can enter, so keep these areas protected, wear a scarf and keep your neck covered. Meanwhile, enjoy everything that winter has to offer, within nature and within your inner self.
The element of Winter in the tradition of five element acupuncture is Water, next blog with more about the Water element.
To gain the best from Winter come and have some Traditional Five Element Acupuncture with Hannah Charles contact ;-https://www.southwellacupuncture.co.uk/contact/