Staying Healthy with the Seasons: Feeling Winter
By Arianne Koven, N.D., C.N.H.P
We are in the mid-winter stage of this season, a reason for me to check in with you about this present cycle. This is a time of quiet preparation while awaiting the greening rebirth of spring.
Winter is the coldest and darkest of seasons in which the Water element is most dominant. The bladder and kidneys, which deal with the body’s water, are the organs associated with this element. Water also rules bones, joints, teeth, bone marrow and hearing.
According to the teachings of Chinese Medicine, water is the essential medium of your body, through which all things pass. The fluid of life is important for functions like the circulation of blood which carries heat and nourishment throughout the body; the lymphatic flow which helps to process and eliminate wastes and your ability to fight off infections and other foreign agents; and for the flow of urine, saliva, perspiration, tears and sexual fluids.
Staying warm and dry can keep away the stiffness and pains, especially in the back. The kidneys are the seat of “our essential life force.” They are supported by heat producing foods (nourishing soups that are easy to digest) and herbal kidney teas (marshmallow root, nettle, juniper berries) that nourish this vital organ which is responsible for filtering the blood and keeping the body cleansed and in balance.
Cooked whole grains make an excellent staple in the winter diet. Millet and buckwheat are good body heaters and less starchy than other grains like brown rice, wheat, barley, or oats. Grains and beans make a complete protein meal. Stews, root vegetables, miso, seaweed, garlic and ginger are all warming foods.
Salt water fish, low in fats with high amounts of protein, minerals and vitamins are a very good food source.
Exercise, deep breathing, yoga and Tai Chi are ways in which you can get your energy circulating, open up your joints and release the toxins stored there.
In-balance – keeping warm, staying quiet, sleeping well, being at home, looking within, preserving
Imbalance – overactive, late nights, lack of rest and sleep, dissipation of energy.
Balancing the intake and output of your energy in the form of foods, rest and relaxation and plenty of sleep is essential at this time.
© 2012. All Rights Reserved. Arianne Koven is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified Natural Health Practitioner and Voice Dialogue Facilitator practicing in the Vilcabamba Valley, Ecuador. She has been involved in the holistic field for the past thirty years and has been trained in a broad spectrum of healing modalities. This article may be freely reprinted, copied, or distributed in either print or electronic form provided this notice is included in full. For more information, see: www.arikoven.com
Any information provided in this article is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific medical condition and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counseling of your own health care practitioner. Before you treat any illness or make changes in your current medication, seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner who is familiar with your medical condition.