Winter is the most Yin time of the year according to Chinese Medicine theory. Yin energy is grounding, quiescent, and inward as opposed to the outward, dynamic, and expanding energy of Yang. Winter is also associated with the water element and related to the Kidney organ.
冬藏 - means "storing in winter" - TCM advocates protecting Qi during the Yin season, particularly Kidney Qi, as it is the source of prenatal or primordial Qi. When the body is feeling spent, the Kidney works like an energy reserve to supply Qi to the rest of the organs. It's easy to feel exhausted and overwhelmed with all the festivities, parties, and travels when we should be slowing down and resting more during this time of the year.
If you are feeling spent and anxious,here are 5 tips to help preserve Qi and keep the body in a state of balance this season.
While you don't need to go into deep winter hibernation mode, it’s imperative to get enough sleep. Skimping on sleep leads to a lifeless complexion, weight gain, poor memory, and deficient Qi. Your body goes into repair mode while you are in deep restful state; hormones get rebalanced, immune system strengthened, cognition improved, and the skin receives increased blood flow. When you get enough ZZZs, your complexion and spirit will be glowing.
Give your skin a drink, inside and out. Indoor heat and winter air robs precious moisture from the skin. Mist liberally with a botanical essence before applying serums and oils helps boost hydration to thirsty complexions. To support internal hydration, make yourself a an easy tonic - Eight Treasure Tea.
Try to give yourself a foot massage. Focus on the acupuncture point - Kidney 1 涌泉 - Yongquan or “Gushing Spring” (see picture) which stimulates a key point on the Kidney channel. It might feel sore - in a good way, massaging a few minutes on this point helps relieve stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.
Make hearty stews and dumplings. Seasonal foods, such as root vegetables and winter squashes as well as black-colored foods - black beans, shitake mushrooms, and black sesame are particularly beneficial to the Kidney.
Meditate or stay quiet - even if it's for 15 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing and set intentions as we head towards toward the new year. While you are at it, enjoy a hydrating mask.
Loaded with extracts from Chinese Medicinal plants, anti-oxdiants, adaptogens, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, the DIVINE Biocellulose Mask helps repair a compromised skin barrier. Mask twice weekly to keeps your skin hydrated and glowing all winter long.