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Lessons from Winter: The Water Element

According to Chinese medicine each season corresponds energetically to a different organ system in our bodies. The Kidney System (both energetically and physiologically) operates at its peak function during the winter season. Kidneys are important for your longevity and supply reserve Qi to all the other organs in your body that are running low on energy. Be mindful of Kidney energy imbalance symptoms such as: low energy and fatigue; urinary issues; lower back pain; knee pain; tinnitus; bone/teeth issues; sexual issues; increased susceptibility to illnesses; and pronounced anxiety, fear, and depression during the winter months.*

In order to create more balance and harmony, it’s vital that we respect the lessons of each season and our interconnectedness with nature. Winter is a time of quiet reflection, a slower pace, and more rest. It is also the best time to strengthen and balance your Kidney energy.

Here are some lifestyle Kidney energy balancing suggestions:

  • Slow down.

  • Nurture yourself with extra self-care and pampering.

  • Create inner peace and gratitude through positive self-talk.

  • Hold onto your energy and be discerning about your emotional, mental, and physical output.

  • Get extra rest and if possible go to bed earlier and rise after the sun has begun to warm up the earth.

  • Look within and make amends to yourself and others if necessary and then be sure to celebrate and appreciate all of your accomplishments.

  • Meditate to train and calm both your mind and nervous system.

  • Eat soups, stews, root vegetables, garlic, ginger, miso, seaweed, beans, and hot teas to warm the body’s core and provide deep nourishment.

  • Dress warmly and avoid extreme temperature changes.

  • Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your face as much as possible to reduce your risk of colds and flu.

Try these simple and healing Kidney energy balancing exercises:

  • Rub your ears for 3-5 minutes every day. Your ears are connected to the Kidneys. By warming and stimulating them, you will improve your overall health.

  • March in place for 3-5 minutes daily to stimulate your Kidney meridian, which begins on the soles of your feet. Keep your feet flat and heavy and slowly march. Hold onto something sturdy for extra balance or do the exercise seated if necessary.

  • Warm your hands and rub your kidneys and lower back area each morning upon awakening. You may either sit on the edge of a bed or chair or stand shoulder width apart with soft, slightly bent knees. Rub your Kidney area with either open palms or loose fists until your entire lower back warms up. Visualize a deep dark blue color surrounding your kidney area and smile gratitude towards your Kidneys for the amazing job they do to keep you healthy.

Nourish daily with these self-care techniques while you enjoy the gifts and lessons of the winter season. You will be ready, healthy, and energized for spring!

* Please use common sense. If you are experiencing any and/or all of the Kidney imbalance symptoms, please consult your doctor or health care professional. Be well.


Guest Blogger, Jennifer Steffener, LMT

Certified Tai Chi, Qigong, and Meditation Instructor

Registered Yoga Teacher

Join Jennifer as she guides the Health Navigator Community through her Six Healing Sounds Qigong program beginning in February. During this 6-week class, learn gentle movements and mantras for your Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidney and San Jiao (Triple Heater) to enhance your health and longevity.

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