As the outdoor temperatures drop, the sun is at its weakest and the trees are shedding their last few leaves, the stillness of winter creates an inward, calm, quiet and cooling ‘Yin’ energy. Yet, many of us have a tendency to ‘overdo’ it at this time of year, whether through overwork, food and drink indulgences, or late nights. Our bodies and minds are, as a result, under considerable strain, as we resist nature’s invitation to slow down and quieten our minds. To make things worse, our immune systems are working overtime to ward off colds and other seasonal viruses. Inevitably, we are digging deep into our energy reserves.
In Chinese Medicine, these reserves fall within the realm of the Kidney and Bladder, which are the two organs of the Water Element, said to dominate during the winter months. The role of this Element in maintaining good health and wellbeing is critical, as it holds cooling, calming, cleansing and lubricating functions.
When taking pulses at this time of year, there are often clear indications of depletion in Kidney and Bladder, and the associated symptoms and conditions can be more severe than at other times. These include heightened anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, tinnitus, chronic low back and knee pain, constipation, urinary problems, night sweats, brittle/thinning hair, hot flushes, reproductive problems, low sexual energy, or poor memory. Kidney is also associated with our essence and fundamental being. In good health, Kidney enables us to keep our fears under control, to develop our wisdom, to access and apply will-power and determination in the ambitions we set ourselves.
Acupuncture at this time of year can help enhance the powerful qualities imparted by the Water organs, access our inner strength, regain control of our bodies and mind, and slow down any depletion. Two of my favourite acupuncture points, known as “Bladder 52’, located on the lower back, and translated from the Chinese as ‘Ambition Room’, or ‘Will-Power Room’, and ‘Bladder 23’, named Shen-Shu or Kidney Hollow, reflect well these notions. At a physical level, they are used for lumbar pain and stiffness, infertility, incontinence, urinary infections, oedema, menstrual problems, and male sexual dysfunctions. At a mind level, they are said to pull us out of a rut, moving us away from our habitual search for excuses, energising our ambition and drive to reach for what we have set our heart on, eradicating our deepest fears. When points like Bladder 23 or 52 are combined with specific seasonal points, known in acupuncture as ‘horary’ points , the effectiveness of the treatment is considered to be much greater than when it is carried out at a different time of year. Without a doubt, this is a very potent time to work on the Kidney and Bladder channels to build up resilience, physical and mental, and to help us reconnect with ourselves.
According to Chinese Medicine, there are other simple steps we can take to live harmoniously with the season. These include keeping warm, for instance by eating hot meals, avoiding cold salads, sandwiches, ice creams, chilled drinks; wearing additional clothing; or applying a hot water bottle to our abdomen and lower back. It is also an important time to be self-reflective without being judgmental, and to evaluate what sort of person we truly are, recognising our strengths and the cleverness in each of us, and how this can help us get to where we want to be.
Lisa Lee Acupuncture
Ambition and determination are key energetics supported by winter acupuncture, and enable us to control our fears too.
Copyright © Lisa Lee. All rights reserved. acupuncture for anxiety acupuncture tunbridge wells acupuncture clinic london Royal Tunbridge Wells