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Winter and Chinese Medicine

December 21st marks the beginning of Winter – the time when the Sun's light is farthest from us resulting in greater darkness and cold.

The trees have lost their leaves and the landscape is stripped of spring's green, summer's fullness, and fall's firey adornment.

What is left is bare landscape. Essence. Winter.

In the winter, nature points us inward – most of us want to spend more time indoors. The winter season gifts us time to collect ourselves, reflect, and be in our inner quiet. In this place, we have the chance to notice our deep resources – our own essence - who we really are away from the activity of life.

Wintertime is considered "seed" time. With reflection and quiet, we gather our energy and strength for our next big adventure, maybe our next life goal. Within the quiet, we contemplate what it is we want to grow in the year ahead. Many people report that it's in prayer or meditation that they receive their most important direction in life, or their inspiration for "what's next." Or the solution to a situation they've been working through. Or their brilliant idea.

The Kidney and Bladder organs are our Water or "Winter" organs. Our bodies require rest and quiet to store our energy reserves daily and seasonally.

The kidney and bladder are considered to be full of potency and power. They are the primary rulers of our endocrine and reproductive systems. They give us our strength and "backbone." They rule the deepest, densest parts of ourselves - our teeth and bones.

Traditionally, winter was an especially important time in Asian culture for people to receive acupuncture - even if they were feeling well. The reason? To maintain and even augment health and energy with a "boost." The kidney and bladder organs are the "foundation" of who we are. When our bodies, mind and emotions are connected, rested and restored, our strength and health lead us through a successful and prosperous new year.

Enjoy the winter season and its gift of renewal.

Hilary LaFerriere, LAc