Avoid the Winter Blues with the Right Lifestyle
As the seasons change so to should our lifestyle habits. During Winter our Qi moves deeper inside the body and has less of an inkling to rise to surface and communicate through our pores with the environmental Qi of Heaven and Earth. We should cover up and stay warm, eat slow cooked, nutritious foods, and modify our exercise habits to be less strenuous, but still keeping the joints mobile and the body supple.
Winter is a time to rest, to meditate deeply, refine the spiritual essence, and store physical energy.
Paul Pitchford - Healing with Whole Foods
Winter is the season of the Kidneys so keep your feet, lower back, and belly covered and warm. Use deep, diaphragmatic breathing, salty flavours, and minimise the loss of Jing (sexual fluids). From Paul Pitchford's book we see that salty and bitter flavours are appropriate in Winter as they promote a sinking, centreing quality which heightens the capacity for storage. Such foods also cool the exterior of the body and bring body heat deeper and lower, with a cooler surface one notices the cold less.
Winter is also the season of colds and flu. So keep your immune system strong and functioning appropriately (see Blog Post). You can also use moxibustion to points like Stomach 36, Large Intestine 10, Ren 4, Du 4 and 12. And there are many herbal preparations that will strengthen the immune system or help you cover from colds, flu, sore throat, phlegm, cough, etc. If you want to strengthen the immune system you can use Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang or Yu Ping Feng Tang.
We should pay attention to the seasons and change our diet, exercise, sleeping habits, and our emotional/mental expressions to maintain smooth flow of our Qi and blood. If you can achieve this then you can expect a healthy, ailment free Winter!