The FINAL MONTH of WINTER:
Winter is Yin in nature; it is inactive, cold, and damp. Remain introspective, restful, and consolidate your Qi through the season and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.
Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears, and Hair
Emotion: Fear and Depression
Winter is ruled by the water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.
According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the source of all energy (Qi) within the body.
They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.
During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidney Qi. It is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter – rest, reflection, conservation, and storage.
Foods for Winter
Winter is a time when many people tend to reduce their activity. If that’s true for you, it’s wise to reduce the amount of food you eat, too, to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily. Avoid raw foods during the winter as much as possible, as these tend to cool the body. During winter you should emphasize warming foods:
- Soups and stews
- Root vegetables
- Miso and seaweed
- Garlic and ginger
Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.
Staying Healthy This Winter
Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With the wind, rain, and snow comes the colds, flu, aches, and pains.
Here are a few tips to staying healthy this winter:
- Wash your hands regularly. Studies have shown that one of the main reasons that we catch colds and flu in the winter season is that we are indoors and in closer proximity to others in cold weather. Protect ourselves by washing your hands regularly and try not to touch your face.
- Get plenty of sleep. The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early and rise late, after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own yang Qi for the task of warming in the face of cold.
- Reduce stress. Find a way to relax and release stress on a daily basis. Such methods may include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, simple relaxation therapy, or whatever method you use to release the stress and pressures of modern life.
According to TCM, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can work together to throw your immune system off, allowing pathogens affect your body.
Naturally……Let’s talk DRY SKIN season…ugghh
Here are a few tips to help during this DRY and COLD season…in my part of the country anyway…..
This tip may make you feel as if you’ve been dunked in a bowl of cereal, but it’s an excellent remedy for dry skin. Simply blend some baking soda, oatmeal, and vanilla extract in to a paste and mix it in a tub of warm water. Soak in the tub for as long as you like and say goodbye to dry skin.
This tip dates back to thousands of years when queens bathed in milk. Yes, soaking in a tub filled with milk and warm water can do wonders for skin!
EFA- Essential Fatty Acids – 2000 mg per day or even just eat FISH will help internally moisturize your skin.
Make a homemade skin scrub.
Economical and effective, a combo of sugar and any oil you may have around the kitchen makes a rich, nourishing body scrub for dry skin, according to Gabriel.
Simply mix equal amounts of fine brown sugar and oil, and rub on using light circular motions.
For an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, add a tablespoon of honey.
Make sure to shower thoroughly afterwards!
Aloe Vera Moisturizing Lotion
This moisturizing lotion is perfect as an after-sun lotion or as a deep moisturizing lotion for dry skin.
1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel
1/4 cup Mineral water
2 drops Peppermint oil
- Heat the aloe vera and mineral water in a double boiler, stirring slowly until they form a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool. Then add the peppermint oil and stir in well.
- Spoon the moisturizer into a jar or container that has a lid.
- Massage the lotion into your skin in slow, circular movements and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse lightly with warm water if desired.