In Chinese Medicine, Winter is associated with the Kidney system, which is the broadest system of all: it includes our kidney organs as well as the endocrine system, the nervous system and the skeletal system. That’s most of our body! The Kidneys are in charge of our water metabolism, bones, brain, fertility, hearing, and adrenals (i.e. stress management). The Kidney System is like the battery pack of our whole body/mind: it keeps all the other organ systems running smoothly. Too much sex, drugs,alcohol, over-exercise and stress will deplete our batteries and that in turn affects the function of all the other organ systems.
According to Five Element Theory, the Kidney is associated with the Water element, which is Yin; the Winter is a Yin time of year, dominated by more darkness than light, more cold than heat. During Yin times of the year, it is important to cultivate our yin by eating foods that nourish Yin and help us recover from things that damage it: see above.
Eating some of the foods listed here may help strengthen your Kidney system. Be sure to eat good quality salt: table salt can be damaging, but adding sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to our food can actually nourish the Water element. It’s also important to get extra sleep, meditate, do Qi Gong or Tai Qi and other Yin-cultivating and grounding practices to help your body recover from Yin depletion.
For more information on how you can thrive during stressful times, and what foods are best for your particular constitution, please click here to book an appointment for an initial consultation, exam and acupuncture treatment at FLOAT!
(Infographic by Jacqueline Gabardy, L.Ac., post written by Abigail Morgan, L.Ac., both of FLOAT: Chinese Medical Arts)