The importance of storage and rest during winter
Lesson 1 Module 1
In winter, living things slow down to save energy. Trees lose their leaves and some animals hibernate. It is also important for humans to conserve energy and build strength during winter.
According to Chinese medicine, the Cold Season (winter) is characterized by temperatures that are usually below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The Kidneys, Bladder, and bones are most vulnerable at this time.
In the Su Wen it states that “Winter is a cold storage season. Qi gathers in the core of the body. Don’t disturb it…Warm up the body, store up energy to rejuvenate and to preserve life. Or the Kidney gets hurt…”
The key word is storage. It is ideal for humans to follow the laws of nature too by reducing how frequently they do outdoor sports, as well as reducing activities and exercises that make them sweat. Doing calming exercises and meditations allow the body to store its energy and rebuild for Spring, a season of growth.
Winter corresponds to the Kidney system according to the five elements theory. By calming and nourishing the Kidneys, you can avoid problems such as:
- Cardiac pain
- Limb coldness
- Depression (including Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Winter is also a good time to boost the natural constitution of the body and improve symptoms associated with chronic conditions.
Eating nutritious food is also critical during winter. The right foods in plentiful amounts help you build up new stores of energy and vitality. These stores help you stay healthy in the winter by boosting your defensive Qi which is a critical part of your immune system, according to Chinese medicine.
By living in alignment with the needs of your body during the winter, you not only stay healthy during the current year, you increase your overall health and longevity. You will have more energy during warmer weather because you have taken full advantage of winter's tasks of rest and storage.