Today we will experience the shortest day of the year, the most yin in nature, Winter Solstice. This will yield longer days to come until we return to Summer Solstice. The sun is now at the lowest point on the horizon and will climb higher and higher, casting broader rays above us. While we will have reached the pinnacle of darkness, we look forward to the abundant light to come. Light begets darkness, darkness begets light. This is the celebration.
Until those lighter days are here though, our health begs us to turn inward and rest, meditate, even reflect on our mortality. As our bodies slow down to conserve energy, Chinese dietary principles suggest that we should eat foods native to the season to build strength for Spring. While we are still experiencing cold winter days, we should increase our room-temperature water intake and eat foods that support yin; stews and soups (including bone broth), unrefined sea salt (in moderation), chicken, root vegetables, black beans, walnuts, whole grains, etc. Avoid cold and raw foods. Exercising these practices will nourish our kidneys, boost our immunity and in turn, lessen our chances of sickness. Avoid over-exertion and moderate exercise.
Of course, acupuncture serves as a superior method to harmonize us with the season. Among the multitude of other benefits, acupuncture nourishes and nurtures our Kidney Qi, which will strengthen our ability to handle stress, decrease our chance of illness, and increase our vitality in the winter months.
Optimal well-being is predicated on harmonizing with the seasons and the above is only a partial inventory of methods to achieve wellness. To discuss a customized acupuncture and seasonal dietary treatment plan, please call the office at (908) 379-8600 or make an appointment here: https://www.tlcacupuncture.com/.
Looking forward to helping you achieve harmony. Happy Solstice!
Lauren Daniels L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)