Boost Your Energy in Winter — Wisdom From Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Posted Feb 03 2010 11:15am
In the depths of a New England winter (and there’s no ambiguity about the weather this week!), a lot of people feel their energy flagging. If you feel like you’re dragging yourself through the day, or you could use a nap every single afternoon, or you just don’t care about doing much beyond what’s necessary, this is completely natural.
The cold and dark make this season a natural time for resting and replenishing your reserves; Chinese medicine advises using this to your advantage. Winter is associated with the water element, and with the Kidneys, which represent our deepest level of energy reserves — the life force we were born with and that we tap into when we are “running on empty”.
To nourish the Kidney energy, live in harmony with the season, and get ready for the springtime burst of energy and activity, consider these suggestions:
Go to bed early, and sleep late. Being up primarily when the sun is also up conserves your “yang”, or warming energy, which is needed against the cold weather.
Eat warm, cooked foods: Soup is great this time of year — it’s warm, nourishes the water element, and preserves the digestive fire, allowing you to convert food to energy. Green leafy vegetables and nuts, especially walnuts and chestnuts, are especially good for the Kidneys. Some sources also suggest eating black foods and kidney-shaped foods (think black bean soup!)
Focus on quieter tasks. It’s natural and sensible if you don’t feel like going out dancing every night, or training for a marathon. Conserve your energy a bit by making your exercise more gentle (yoga, tai chi, and walking are great). And take time for indoor, settled activities such as cooking, knitting, reading, or meditation.
Deep breathing exercises help you connect to your core energy, making it available. Click here for a qi gong breathing exercise that is perfect for these winter days.
Get A Seasonal Acupuncture Tune-Up: Acupuncture is designed to bring your body into balance with itself, and also to harmonize the body with the climate and season. A kidney-focused acupuncture treatment can help you access and replenish your energy reserves.