Nourishing Ourselves During Winter- The Wisdom of Water.

This time of year in Shiatsu and Chinese medicine terms is linked to the element of water. It is a time to find ways to really replenish, rest and gently stimulate ourselves in nurturing ways during the colder weather. The organs associated with water are the kidney and the bladder. Kidney energy would be seen to be strongest during the winter months. The kidney is the source of both yin and yang in the body-that balance between control, stillness and going with the flow. The kidneys in Chinese medicine terms are considered the foundation for good health and vitality, essentially the root of everything. Kidneys are responsible for fluid balance, waste elimination, regulation of blood PH and mineral balance. They also play an important role in red blood cell production. Kidneys govern life force in the body- our drive and our motivation for life. Kidney energy in shiatsu terms is related to survival, reproduction and curiosity. This energy goes towards life and people who are full of life and are quite driven generally have strong kidney energy. This is a good thing as long as it is really balanced with rest so we don’t burn out. Too much stimulation of the kidneys without balance over time can lead to adrenal fatigue. We learn so much from both stillness and movement. Life is all about balance. When kidney energy is healthy and in flow, life feels adventurous, spontaneous and we can embrace the energy of the now with curiosity and openness. If we feel anxious in some way, we will deplete our kidney energy so it is important to deal with our inner fears so we don’t block spontaneity. Face your fears to overcome them. The book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ is worth recommending. Blocking spontaneity blocks kidney energy and embracing spontaneity and playfulness by not taking life too seriously, being lighthearted, finding things that we love and bring us joy supports our kidneys. Keeping a perspective on things keeps kidney energy healthy and flowing. There is a sense of going with the flow, which is what water does. When we have healthy energy, it’s a bit like a river flowing… we move along and embrace change. The river may have slower, stiller points or points with more movement but it always embraces change and goes towards the sea- this is the nature of our lives and a good metaphor for it. If a river becomes too stagnant or gets too stuck, that can result in a lot of stagnant, murky energy and is when illness occurs. As we age, weakened kidneys will result in reduced energy, declining hormone levels, impaired brain function, bone weakness, hearing loss,...

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