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The Cycle of the Seasons - Winter

In acupuncture theory, humans are seen as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. We are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature. Health is seen as dependent on living in harmony with the seasons. Ill health is seen as a consequence of not following the cycle of the seasons.

This lovely image shown above was taken from my treatment room window on one of the recent crisp cold mornings.


Winter is a time of quiet and stillness, when nature seems to rest. Life seems to slow down, animals hibernate, and seeds lie dormant, ready to sprout in the spring. Darkness falls early and the days are short.

In Winter all is hidden. This is the season of retirement into the depth, because it is cold outside. It is necessary at this time not to disturb or disperse the yang (active) energy, thus complying with the energy of the winter.

Chinese medical classics.

Winter is a good season to:

- Get more rest.

The ancient acupuncture texts urge us to follow the cycle of the seasons by slowing down our activity in wintertime. Winter is the most yin, or inactive season of the year. At this time we need to protect our reserves of energy by reducing our activity and getting more sleep.

- Schedule more time for your inner life.

Use the energy of the winter season for gaining self awareness. Winter is associated with introspection and receptivity. It is a good time of year to begin the practice of meditation or tai chi. The Chinese medicine classics tell us in winter to pay attention to our dreams.

- Choose more warming foods.

As the climate cools down, the body needs to generate more warmth within. It may help to include more cooked foods in our diet, whole grains,hot pots and roasts, beans, pulses and root vegetables, onions and garlic.

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