Through the lens of Chinese medicine, Seattle’s gray and rainy skies offer us the opportunity to gaze inward- to take time to close our eyes, meditate, and visualize the burning embers which lie within us. Winter is the yin time of year. It is a time of rest, reflection and replenishment. Follow these six simple guidelines to help you nourish your yin, and nurture your body:
1. Make time in your weekly schedule for some type of restorative exercise: Take a 20 minute walk in the rain before bed, join a yoga class, or learn the ancient art of Qi Gong.
2. Nourish your body with warming foods – check out this link for a great miso soup recipe! www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=157 And don’t forget the green tea, it is a great anti-oxidant.
3. Come in for a winter acupuncture tune-up! That can help strengthen your body’s energy (qi), boost your immunity, and calm the mind.
4. Do something selfless-give one gift this week, without any expectation of return.
5. Allow yourself time to create something new… whether it’s a conversation, a painting, or a poem.
6. Allow for one extra hour of sleep per night this season. In Chinese Medicine sleep is a time of introspection for the “shen” or spirit. This time is critical for our health, especially in the winter months, in that it allows the shen to rest and rejuvenate. This process permits the mind time to get away from daily stresses.
After following these simple steps, say goodbye to the wintertime blues! And breathe deep…knowing that winter in Seattle, despite its gray skies and endless drizzle, is full of quiet miracles.
Written by CM, L.Ac., Acupuncture Northwest & Associates.