There are two types of Chinese Medicine practices, one called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which is based on the organ systems and external factors. The other practice is called Five Element based on five aspects of nature that are wood, fire earth, metal and water and consider internal emotional factors. Both of these systems consider the emotions, but Five Element puts a greater emphasis on the emotions affecting the spirit and physical nature of a person.
The seasons are also connected to the external and internal factors with Winter represented by cold and water. Each person has a make up of these internal and external factors. Treatments can be tailored to a person’s constitutional type and how they relate to the other four elements.
Water is yin/feminine in character, its energy is downward and its motion is stillness and conserving. As Winter comes upon us we want to become introspective and conservative in our movement. Water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy. An over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it.
A water element person tends to appear reserved, yet are often very creative, sometimes even eccentric. They can appear cool and stoic, yet have the capacities to be still and deeply reflect. The negative emotion associated with water is fear, while the positive emotion is calmness.
In Chinese Medicine the Kidneys regulate water metabolism, our sex organs and fertility, bones, teeth, hair and hearing. Kidneys are a yin organ or solid organ. It has an inter-relationship with the Urinary Bladder which is a yang organ or hollow organ. Excesses and addictions of all kinds-sex, drugs, work, over-training in sports, constant stress, trauma, childbirth and heavy menstrual bleeding can all lead to kidney depletion. In this Winter season let your Kidneys be the key to your longevity!
FOODS TO KEEP THE KIDNEYS FORTIFIED:
Sea salt, barley, buckwheat, black rice, beets, burdock, asparagus, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, purple and black grapes, watermelon, black raspberries, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, walnuts, scallops, oysters, clams and mussels, Reishi (ganoderma) mushrooms, Cordyceps mushrooms, Schizandra berries.