According to the beautiful healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine, living in harmony with nature and the seasons is a recipe for good health.
As the days get shorter and colder, much of nature goes into hibernation. We are no different. Winter is a time to slow down, rest, renew and reflect. It is a precious opportunity to become quiet, still, go inward, and heal.
In Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with an organ system in the body.
Winter, is associated with the Kidneys.
Here are some tips to help nourish your kidney energy and stay warm and healthy during the chilly winter season:
- Consume warming foods and drinks. Cook foods longer, at lower temperatures, and add warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, garlic, mustard, horseradish.
- Include more hearty soups, stews, bone broth, root vegetables, whole grains (ie. brown rice, millet, barley), roasted nuts, black sesame seeds, small dark beans, miso, seaweed.
- A good night’s sleep, and proper rest/relaxation are important to boost Kidney energy. Include calming gentle activities such as Tai Ji, Qi Gong, Yoga, Meditation, and walks in nature. These allow time to slow down, reflect, reset.
- Avoid late nights, too much salt, over-work, stress, and intense fear. These drain Kidney energy.
- Keep warm. Bundle up before heading outside, to “lock in the warmth”. The Kidney meridian begins on the bottom of your feet, so don’t forget insulated boots, and cozy slippers!
- Regular acupuncture treatments are a great way to support your immune system, relieve stress, and promote overall wellness. Add Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to your self-care routine for a happy, healthy 2020 and 2021!
To The Point
Got a stuffy nose? Well, we’ve got an acupuncture point for you!
Large Intestine 20 (Yingxiang),
also known in English as “Welcome Fragrance”.
Pressing this point, on either side of your nose, helps to open nasal passages and clear congestion.
Herbs For Health
During the cold winter months, stock up on fresh ginger root.
Not only does its spiciness awaken the flavors of your favorite recipes, but it also has many medicinal benefits.
Ginger (Sheng Jiang) has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat colds, stomachaches, nausea, and indigestion.
You can make a delicious tea to warm and stimulate your digestive system. Peel and slice a golf-ball sized piece of ginger root (you can also add a cinnamon stick, or slices of pear). Place into a small pot of boiling water, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, pour the tea into a mug and enjoy.
Welcome To A Brand New Year.
The winter season is a great time to reflect on your past accomplishments, and to set new intentions for 2021.
Although 2020 was a challenging year on many levels, it prompted us to “hit the brakes”, slow down, and reflect on what is truly important in our lives. Take the time to be grateful for all that you have, and for the insights and clearer vision which have been revealed to us. Apply these learnings to every aspect of your life, to make 2021 a year of tremendous growth and renewed opportunity.
Happy Chinese New Year!
2021 is THE YEAR OF THE METAL OX, from February 12th, until January 30th, 2022.
If you want to have a little fun, you can click on the link below to see what is in store for this exciting new year.
You Are What You Eat
As many of you know, I am a big fan of eating a spectacular breakfast.
In Chinese Medicine each organ system has a particular time of day when it is strongest (most full of Qi and Blood). Your Stomach and Spleen (two organs associated with digestion in TCM) do their best digesting between 7 and 9 am. Therefore, it makes sense to eat a power-packed breakfast, to fuel your body for the entire day!
It also makes sense that your biggest meal should be in the morning, and your evening meal should be the smallest.
Dinner for breakfast anyone?
Yes, I eat dinner for breakfast. Give me a hearty soup, stew, or stir-fry to start my day – sure beats a cold bowl of cereal – and I am a happy camper!
Here is a recipe for one of my favourite soups.
Taking Care of Me: Split Pea Soup
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups dried split peas
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large carrot chopped
½ onion chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 package lean turkey sausage (about 4 sausages)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Add the stock to a large soup pot. Rinse the dried split peas and add them to the stock. Add the celery, carrot, onion, potato, and parsley. Bring everything to a boil and simmer, covered, for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add sausage and simmer for 30 more minutes. Remove sausage, cut into bite sized pieces and add it back to the soup.
This soup is so delicious. Give it a try for breakfast, and let me know how great you feel! Bon Appetite!
As always, it is a pleasure to be able to share the wonderful healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine with you.
There is beauty
In the quiet stillness of winter
When a soft blanket of snow
Embraces the Earth.
We wish you abundant joy, love and well-being over the winter season – and a happy, prosperous new year!
Yours in good health,