LIVING IN HARMONY:
WINTER -Part 2
Seasonal Lifestyle tools and adaptions for Mind/Body Wellness
Vol. 1 https://www.resourcevitality.com December 21, 2019
Classical Chinese Medicine and the Metal Element
The concept of the five elements that are now used in Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) probably began with the ancient Chinese calendar where five types of energies were assigned to different days, months and years.
These five elements were associated with the solstices and equinoxes in an effort to help farmers plan ahead. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
According to the 5 Element System, Winter is the Season of the Water Element. Winter’s power is deep and Yin. It is a time to conserve energy, and resources, and not be wasteful with your active Yang energy.You need special care in the form of nutrition, warmth and rest.
This time of the year is an inward, more sensitive time. Nature is in her resting season, quiet, withdrawn, deep in the earth and in the roots. So too, this is a time to go deeper within, seeking replenishment, resting, reflecting, in preparation for the exuberant energy of Spring.
Winter is a time to stay active to keep your body warm and the Qi (Energy) moving, but not so active that you exhaust and stress yourself.And don’t forget sleep. Get plenty of it! Deep sleep, deep dreams— very important in terms of recharging those energy banks.
The Element associated with Winter is Water Element. And the Organs associated with the Water Element are the Bladder and the Kidneys (plus the Adrenals). Water is the fluid of life and, as such, it has very important functions within the body: the circulation of blood; the lymphatic flow; the flow of saliva, urine, perspiration, tears, etc.
In CCM, the Water Element stores your Life-force or Essence in the bones and marrow. It houses the Zhi, which is in charge of the mental drive and courage while providing determination and focus to accomplish goals and dreams. The Kidneys are in charge of the emotion of Fear or it’s polar opposite— over-the-top bravado.
Here are some of the emotional signs of a Water Element imbalance:
armoring; depression; fear; fear; feeling overwhelmed; lack of will power; moaning and groaning; panic attacks; paranoia; timidity.
Physically, a Water Element imbalance may show up as: adrenal weakness; backache; bladder problems; dark rings under the eyes; frequent urination; high blood pressure; poor memory; poor teeth; prostate issues.
Yoga, Pranayama, Qi Gong, and deep Meditation can be very useful this time of year to help maintain balance.
FALL: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid — In Order to
Harmonize Your Body’s Energies with the Season
These food selections are based on their color, the meridians to
which they travel, and their thermic qualities (things I will cover in
For Winter, choose, to bake, broil, and boil as methods of cooking. Try to avoid raw foods as they are cold in nature and hard to digest (as always, there are some exceptions).
Adzuki beans Barley Beet Greens Blackberries Blueberries Buckwheat Chives Cinnamon Clove Egg Yolk Fennel Kale Kidney Beans Lamb Lentils Miso Peas Pinto Beans White Rice Raspberries Salt (in moderation) String Beans
Alcohol Artificial Sweeteners Bacon Buttermilk Canned Veggies Coffee Dairy Products Frozen Dinners Hot Dogs Oatmeal Pickles Pungent Foods Salt (in excess) Sausage
As you read over these 2 lists, understand that these are generalized. You can get much more specific, depending on the type of imbalance within the element itself.
Acupressure Points for the Winter:
The following points are tools to help you adapt to the energies of
Kidney & Bladder Meridians
Exercises for the Winter:
These specific exercises are chosen for their ability to activate the
healthy body energies of the Kidney and Bladder Meridians.
The movements shown below are designed to open and stretch the
channels thereby allowing the Qi to move freely.
1) Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front
of you. Keep your knees slightly bent, do not lock
them. If this causes any discomfort, you can sit on
a folded blanket and bend your knees slightly out
to the side.
2) With chin slightly tucked, slowly stretch forward,
reaching your hands toward your toes. If you
cannot touch your toes, reach for your knees, shins
or ankles. Relax your head.
3) As you breathe in, focus your breath along your
back and spine. Expanding outwards with each
inhalation, and imagining that you are expanding
your back like a big balloon. As you exhale, allow
your body to relax deeper into the stretch.
4) Hold this position for a few breaths.
Bicycle Pedal Leg Press
1) Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in
front of you. Keep your heels together and knees
2) Take a deep breath in, as you exhale, bend your
upper body forward from the hips. Grab your feet if
you can; if not, grab your knees or ankles.
3) Relax your neck, allowing your head to hang
4) Push your left hip and left heel forward, away
from you, and pull your right hip and right heel
closer to you.
5) As you push forward with your left foot, reach
forward with your extended left arm.
6) Rhythmically alternate the synchronized leg and
arm movements for each side.
Side to Side Teeter-Totter Pose
1) Place the soles of your feet together.
2) Pull them back as close to your groin as possible.
3) Place hands, palms up, under your ankles and
4) Rest your elbows on top of your inner thighs,
keep your back straight, and apply a slight
downward pressure with your elbows.
5) Press your knees downward, closer to the floor,
without straining them.
6) Use your weight and elbow to press your right
leg down, then release. Do the same for the left
side. Use the momentum to rock from side-to-side.