What does this mean for our health and how we should be living? Look at the animals outside. Oh, wait - there are no animals outside because they're all asleep! That is of course assuming you're not looking at the one hundred animals crammed into that little room all gazing at fancy glowing screens with little pictures of apples on the back. As humans (and especially the backwards North American variety) we've turned the time of year you're supposed to be chillin' out the most into a mandatory month of "run around frenetically and buy stuff we can't afford for people who don't need it" marathon. (by the way, I as alluding to the throngs of people at the Apple store earlier when I was talking about the herd of screen-gazing humans. And even though I tell myself as an acupuncturist that I shouldn't be technology crazed, I would like one of those fancy smancy I-pad doohickies I saw while rubbing shoulders with the cattle...)
"Fantastic o' wise acupuncturist who just contradicted himself, what should we do about it?" Glad you asked. Here's an article I wrote for the Blue Heron Wellness Winter Newsletter that'll put it all in a nice little gift-wrapped package for you. Merry Christmas!
Tips for Winter
Delicate white crystals fall to the earth. Cheeks tingle in the cold, crisp air. Winter is officially here! Our culture tends to speed up as there are huge holiday meals to prepare, throngs of people to navigate while gift shopping, and brilliant fireworks illuminating the abundance of holiday parties. However, if we pay close attention to our bodies, we know on a deeper level that Winter is a time of going inward; a time to cultivate and cherish nature’s message to be still; a moment to find warmth from the cold and appreciate the splendidly stark simplicity of beautifully bare trees against a frozen landscape. When you notice the pace of your life increasing this Winter, keep in mind that it is important for continued health and renewal during the season of the WATER element to:
·Take time to be still. Find quiet time each day.
·Keep warm, especially the back of your neck – this is where many pathogens first take up residence in the body. Don’t allow yourself to get bone cold.
·Eat warming foods - soups, root vegetables, stews are great. Try adding some fresh ginger!
·Get more rest. Follow the winter sun, going to bed earlier and getting up later.
·Dream - use winter to let ideas and plans germinate. Wait until spring to begin new projects.
·Drink plenty of water - room temp or even hot!
·Spend time near bodies of water. Notice the different qualities of water, its flow, force and stillness.
Many people resist slowing down during Winter out of fear of missing something – income, fun and excitement, accomplishing goals, etc. The gift in resting is that when Spring arrives, everything you do will be done more effortlessly and much more effectively. Embrace stillness this Winter and witness your life blossom in a new way next year!