- Dr. Priscilla Grant ND
Winter Health Tips
What a wild winter ride this one is - on many levels!
Thought I would remind us all of Winter's focus in varying ways. As you know, each season has 2 organ focuses, an element, taste, emotion, and more. I will cover some of these winter attributes here for you so your winter experience is smooth and memorable.
Organs of Focus: Kidneys (Yin) and Bladder (Yang). Our kidneys filter blood and keep the blood and body clean and in balance. The water balance and the ph balance in the body are maintained by the kidneys. Our Jing energy (essence) is housed in our kidneys. We receive our Jing upon conception, yes conception from our parents. So over time, it's important we take good care of ourselves through diet, good sleep, movement, positivity, and continue acquiring tools to reduce stress and thus maintaining a high level of Jing. If you feel like you've less zing in your Jing, then honestly take a look at where you can begin to take better care of yourself to build back your Jing. It is well worth it!!!
Our bladder stores and eliminates urine received from the kidneys (Chinese consider the bladder to be the seat of the emotions).
I cannot stress enough the importance of plenty of water for both kidneys and bladder for proper physical and emotional balance.
Element: Water. Drinking plenty of water (and other clean liquids) help the blood and lymph be in balance and flush properly -- hydration is key! Soaking in warm water with salt is a good idea. It's a nice time to connect with our Source and release any non-love based emotions during our soak. Perhaps music and/or a candle to enhance your experience ......
Emotion: Fear. The emotional energy of the Kidneys is fear (stored fear tends to reside in kidneys). So as we drink plenty of liquids (mostly warm), the kidneys are happy, feel nourished so we may release fear easily. Humans feel an assortment of all emotions, yet we do not want to "collect" them which may cause physical upsets/imblances. We are meant to feel our emotions, but like a breeze, let them go. They are to come and pass through us.
Climate: Cold. Warm foods and drinks are highly recommended. Cold or iced foods and drinks are draining of our energy and can disrupt digestion. Layer clothing, especially natural materials.
Movement: We tend to slow down with exercise in the Winter, which is fine. But we still feel better with some daily movement. Walking, gentle rebounder, easy treadmill time, swimming, etc. Moving our blood, lymph and chi is key to metabolism, elimination, and happiness. Keeping the spine limber is important - yoga, stretching, inversion table are helpful.
Lifestyle: Winter is a more quiet time, more time in our homes, preserving our energy, looking within, and keeping warm. Having said this, an ideal time is sharing a quiet evening with a few friends at home, good conversation, warm food, nice music, and a fire in the fireplace. Yes, we naturally tend to hibernate more in this season, but we certainly do not want to be a hermit. We benefit greatly in the company of others who are supportive and of like heart and mind. We all enjoy some form of connecting during Winter to share our lives and what's going on perhaps internally. Sharing and listening. Oh, and plenty of good sleep to restore our selves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This is in preparation for Spring, which is coming!!!!
Taste: Salt. Did you know that water follows sodium? Meaning it stays in our body longer and deeper with sodium. Adding a pinch of sea salt or celtic salt or any other salt you have to our water when we crave salt (except please do NOT use processed salt - Morton salt is striped of necessary mineral nutrients and caking agents have been added) is a good idea once in a while. Our body loves the minerals in healthy salts. I've recommended before this book: "Salt Your Way to Health" by Dr. David Brownstein. EXCELLENT book on the truth about salt, please pick it up. It's short and a surprising, fascinating read. Our adrenals and heart will love you for it. If you crave salt, you need minerals. Emotional imbalance of fear is related to an imbalance of minerals. Yes, there are lots of minerals in vegetables and fruits, but we usually do not eat enough of them for our body's requirements.
Sense Organ: Ears, hearing. Are you hearing your intuition? Are you hearing others? Are you listening or maybe not listening? Any problems with ears may reflect an imbalance with the water element. 5 minutes each day in silence will bring you valuable messages, information. When we are silent we may hear. If we are constantly engaged, we don't hear as well. When we REALLY hear someone, we are more understanding and responsive to the needs and feelings of others. Others know when we are listening or not.
Diet: We all have different blood types, food sensitivities and tastes, but in general Winter foods that work well for most are:
Vegetable soups and stews (plenty of root veggies)
Salt water fish
Fruits - I like making applesauce (apples, water and cinnamon only - maybe some nutmeg)
Whole grains: Millet and buckwheat are good and have less starch than rices
Veggies (steamed or baked)
Spices - garlic, ginger, cayenne & pepper to heat you up, curry, parsley
Beans - Adzuki (great for kidneys), black beans, lentils
Mixing grains and beans together is good nutrition and satisfying (keeps us warm)
Miso (added to most soups is yummy, or just plain miso soup)
Nutritional Yeast (great for vegetarians)
Nuts and nut milks
Hot organic teas
Hot chocolate (made with nut milks and raw organic cacao powder and honey or your favorite sweetner)
Have a wonderfully, healthy Winter.
Certified Quantum Biofeedback Specialist & Instructor