Winter is the most yin point of the year: dark, quiet, the season of rest. Nature conserves itself in stillness, stripped back to the essential. Bare trees, less birdsong, hibernating animals, little activity in the garden – life seems dormant, waiting for Spring. In being able to be still and quiet, nature allows itself time to recover from the activity of the year, a necessary pause before the push of growth in Spring.
The Water Element
In acupuncture, winter is the season of the water element. Water gives us our reserves, the creation of power and ability to store it. It is cleansing, helping us to eliminate toxins and to carry nutrients through our blood stream enabling our cells to repair themselves. The water element also gives us our endurance, enabling us to draw on our reserves when we need to: years ago this was the survival through a harsh winter, now it is more often in times of stress. Water is the element of will and determination, of ambition -it gives us the determination to fulfill our ambitions.
Without rest, we cannot keep going indefinitely. When we observe nature, we appreciate the need for rest and recovery before the colour and activity of Spring.
When someone’s water element isn’t working correctly it can result in either… or a need for adrenaline or drama. A healthy balance of water, in conjunction with the other elements (Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) is what we should all aim for.
How can we help ourselves?
Find time to be quiet. We have become so used to living life at full speed that this can seem uncomfortable. But time spent hibernating – curled up with a good book, or simply enjoying the stillness – is a wonderful counterbalance for all that activity we experience throughout the rest of the year. A warm blanket or fire, the company of close friends – or time to ourselves – allows us to pause and reflect on the year past, to learn from our experiences.
We all have all five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) in us. When they are balanced, our energy flows well. When not… we feel out of sorts, not ourselves. If you’re not feeling quite yourself, or ready to embrace the sociable side of you, get in touch… Acupuncture helps restore the natural balance of energy within us to help us back to health.