To welcome you gently to the season, we take you through the key points of winter’s energy and meaning in traditional Chinese medicine.
In winter, nature becomes dormant. For some, the quieter energy of the season can contribute to loneliness, fear and seasonal affective disorder. Others may feel relief for an opportunity to pause and rest.
In preparation for the cooler months, our focus turns to strengthening the water element’s organ system pair, the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder, and practice that which we observe in nature: stillness and conservation.
Winter represents the water element in traditional Chinese Medicine, consisting of the Kidney and Bladder meridian lines. The Kidney meridian consists of 27 major acupressure points starting at the soles of our feet, finishing below the collarbone. The Urinary Bladder meridian channel starts between the eyes and finishes on the side of the little toes. With 67 acupressure points in total, the Urinary Bladder meridian is the longest.
In winter, we see the peak of yin energy. The opposite of yang energy, yin is feminine, restful, slow and quiet. Nourish the yin energy in you with hydration, time in nature, meditation and gratitude.
To increase winter’s yin energy, turn to extra sleep hours and nourish your sleep space. Consider the following...
- Make your sleep space as dark as possible
- Limit screen time for as long as possible before bed
- Align your sleep times with sunrise and sunset
- Enjoy a calming herbal tea or chai before bed
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
In collaboration with Lucinda Jones (link to site), Makka Ho stretch prints developed exclusively for The CALMM see two of our favourite stretches for nourishing winter’s important kidney and bladder meridians immortalised in made-to-order prints for the home.
The WATER element:
In winter, we are ruled by the water element, the most nourishing and essential substance for life. Water’s wisdom is in its flow. Water moves effortlessly, and a balanced water element moves smoothly through the season with strength, courage and willpower. Feeling unbalanced? Click through to book a treatment (link to treatments page)
Kidney meridian points on the base of the foot, at the back of the head and the back of the neck allow cold wind to enter the body. Wear your socks, scarf and slippers, and treat your feet with a heat pack before bed or over breakfast. Sectioned heat packs with velcro extension belts are available for treating large areas of the body.
In winter, turn to warming foods and drinks to warm and sustain the kidneys. Black foods, and foods with a kidney shape, are ideal. We love black beans, kidney beans, bone broths, lamb, chicken, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, goji berries and dark leafy greens. Add spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, and nutmeg. Chai, filled with warming spice, is ideal in winter. We love @chai_walli.
Exclusively developed by The CALMM founder Jessie Whittaker, follow our digital guide's sequence of 6 key acupressure points to support your immune and emotional health through the seasonal change to winter. This guide touches on the qualities of the elements that govern the related organs and some helpful hints on how we might understand ourselves and find emotional balance.