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Winter Season and TCM


Article by Guljan Nurmuradova

Photography by Tatiana

Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) theory identifies five natural elements present in both nature and within us. Each season corresponds to a specific element, offering unique opportunities for health support. Currently, we are in the winter season, which encourages us to slow down, conserve energy, and replenish our resources. Winter is a time of deep rest and nourishment, preparing us for the growth and renewal of spring. Chinese Medicine teaches us to focus on strengthening the water element, specifically the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder. Those two organs are associate with a winter season.

Take care of the kidney and urinary bladder acupuncture meridians. Important acupuncture points along these channels are at the feet, knees, low back, and neck. These points are used to strengthen kidney and urinary bladder function, support immunity, and treat emotional imbalances of the water element. Keeping these areas warm and covered will maintain the integrity of the channels and keep you well physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Food therapy: focus on foods that share the qualities of the water element. Colors are dark, taste is salty, content is hydrating and nourishing. Examples include: nuts, seeds, legumes, shellfish, salt water fish, seaweed, dark colored berries, root vegetables, whole grains, stews and soups. mostly warm and cooked foods, and limiting cold and raw foods. Use warming spices like garlic, ginger, and cardamom.

Winter is time for internal work: schedule more time to discover yourself through reflection. Meditation, yoga, journaling, dreamwork, and breathwork are great winter activities. These activities can also help to work through fear and depression.

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