“Earth season arrives on a slow and humid morning, calling us to nourish ourselves and each other, to celebrate the generosity of the land”. Lorie Eve Dechar.
There are five season according to the ancient Chinese, as Late Summer - the time of Harvest - is given its own place in the seasonal cycle, a golden 6 weeks between the height of Summer and the beginning of Autumn, or Fall.
We see the Earth Element at its most manifest at this time, a time when we hope to see an abundance in nature, a time of plenty, when Mother Earth yields her bounty as a blessing. A good harvest brings us contentment, security, safety. A good harvest tells us we can survive the Winter ahead.
Energetically, this is a time of gathering in; traditionally the whole community would gather in the fields to reap the harvest, working together to make sure nothing was wasted or lost. To fill the grain stores brought everyone a sense of security and this sense of community, of belonging, of being held and supported, of having enough, is part of what this Element offers each of us, within.
If we consider the organs we associate with this Element and their broader remit, we are looking at the Stomach (yang), Spleen and Pancreas (yin). These yin/yang expressions of the whole Element support digestion, transformation, distribution, their remit includes the muscles, the blood, our immune system, our ability to process thoughts and feelings.
This element also represents nourishment at all levels of body, mind and spirit, so as you enter into this season consider how you feel with the energetic shift. Have you had your fill of Summer, are you ready for the seasons ahead? Or do you feel a lack somewhere within you? A need that hasn’t been met? Cultivating gratitude practices at this time of year can have a really powerful effect of our inner Earth Element as we turn our attention to all that we have, the reciprocity of giving and receiving.
“The harvest of a whole year depends on what you sow in the Springtime”.
This Chinese proverb reminds us that Late Summer offers us the opportunity to spend a little time thinking about our own Harvests from the year that has just passed. What seeds of growth or hopes for ourselves did we plant in the Spring? How did they grow? Unless we fully appreciate our harvest, we cannot fully lean into the work of Autumn.
The Harvest Moon offers us a sweet spot in our calendar to do this consciously, to celebrate what you have grown in your life, your garden, your allotment, your community. Hosting, or attending, a Harvest Supper or simply offering gratitude for the food you eat when you share your meal that evening is a wonderful way to honour the energy of this incredibly giving season.
Being 'Worn Out' Is A Worrying Workplace Trend: Spend your January Hibernating If You Want to Thrive in 2023
An article published in People Management in February this year suggested that not only is there a staggering rise in the number of people in the workforce worried about stress, burnout or languishing, they identified ‘wear out’ as another trend that was causing concern.* According to another piece of research released earlier this year and reported in HR News, a staggering 88% of the UK workforce have experienced burnout in the last two years. *
It's fair to say we seem to be at a pretty unique place in history in the UK, a kind of country-wide burnout. Our nervous systems collectively shredded by the last few years, stuck in fight, flight or freeze as we try to figure out how to live in the world we are in now. We are post-Brexit, post-pandemic, many more of us now working from home, socialising more again but finding it more tiring, the political climate divisive, the economy troubling, the cost of living biting many of us.
I have heard more than one friend or client recall the first lockdown with something approaching nostalgia, which screams of the need for us to just take our foot off the accelerator and slow all the way down.
There are no easy answers to this, but considering the Winter ahead of us as a period of blissful hibernation could be just the thing we need, a voluntary lockdown of sorts to allow ourselves the opportunity to do nothing much, go nowhere we don’t need to and give ourselves the gift of taking it easy.
You know when your mobile phone battery is old or damaged and you need to keep charging it when you are out because it doesn’t hold its charge? Well, that’s most of us right now. We have enough to keep going but we aren’t holding our charge, making it. This makes us more tired, less resilient, more prone to illness and burnout.
So picture this.
A month with no plans to socialise. Where we collectively agree to meet as little as possible at work. Where we prioritise early nights, baking bread or slow cooking and eating, a daily walk, afternoons watching movies, reading books, weekends staying under blankets, practicing some yin yoga, nap.
Winter is the time in nature’s Creative Cycle for rest, for renewal and restoration. The pause, in which the potential for growth is nourished and nurtured and held deep in the earth or within. Without this essential pause the earth would have no time to rest, to turn the mulch of Autumn into the nutrients needed for the growth of Spring.
Winter is when nature is telling us to hibernate; in Chinese Medicine the Winter is the time of the Water Element, the kidneys and bladder, our deepest reserves of energy, power and stamina.
Observe the season and do what it does, which is to say, do as little as possible. Go inwards, go quiet, stay still, nourish yourself deeply and at all levels of your body, mind and spirit (eat, pray, love?). Don’t start a new exercise regime in January, or launch full pelt into a new project but hold on ’til the season shifts.
Taking the time to cultivate your yin at the most yin time of the year will transform the rest of your year in a very real way.
This is what Chinese Medicine teaches us.
If you struggle to connect with this idea you can download The Harmony Principles’ Guide to Winter Yin, a workbook packed with ideas for seasonal practices, journalling prompts and inspiration for a seasonal hibernation that will restore, renew, and recharge. It goes live on the 21st December, the Winter Solstice and anyone who purchases before Christmas Day can gift access to a friend or family member too.
Who’s with me?!
It's World Acupuncture Day today and I thought I might share my personal experience of Five Element acupuncture as one of the questions I am frequently asked is how I got 'into' acupuncture, particularly Five Element acupuncture.
So, early 2000s, I was working in my 'dream job' but it had turned into a nightmare; I hated it. I was so busy, so stressed, but I just had my head down and was trying to power through it. Long hours, partying hard at weekends, eating badly, living for holidays and avoiding the bigger issue which was that I was a bit lost. Knowing what I know now, it's no surprise my back went into a massive spasm - my body was trying to take me down so I would stop and actually think, instead of avoiding taking my issues head on.
At the same time I also had pretty terrible eczema, seven types of eczema actually, all over my body. It was in my scalp, on my face, chest, nipples and almost everywhere else. I have had eczema since I was a kid but it had never been this severe. I mean, I guess I knew it was stress related (and related to all the unhealthy coping mechanisms I had in place to copy with my stress) but I just kept on slathering on the steroids, using the emollients,
Anyway the spasming back was the straw for this camel, and at the time I happened to be working opposite a Five Element acupuncture clinic so I staggered in for an emergency appointment. No idea what to expect. The first session was a long one, I was there for almost two hours, answered loads of questions. Was my back less sore when I left? Yes, absolutely. But something else too. I felt noticeably lighter. A little more 'like myself', whatever that meant.
Over the subsequent weeks what became apparent was that not only did acupuncture seem to be improving my physical health but something really remarkable was happening to my mental and emotional health.
I recovered my confidence and sense of clarity. What the actual eff was I thinking? I could choose where to work, so why not choose somewhere better to spend most of my day? I resigned and felt lighter again. My skin continued to improve and as I felt better in myself my life continued to change in lots of positive ways. I drank less, ate better, exercised more and generally began to treat myself with a bit more respect and love. And so began my love affair with Five Element acupuncture and a personal evolution that has taken me so far away from who I was and so much closer to who I truly am.
This may not have been the first time I had come across the body / mind connection, or alternative therapies (a period of depression in my early 20s had seen me dabble my toe in these waters) but this was the first time I had ever experienced so powerfully what happens when you approach body mind and spirit as one and treat them together.
Over the years since then acupuncture has been my constant.
It supported my through the devastation of a late miscarriage, helped me navigate subsequent fertility issues that took years to resolve, fertility treatment that failed twice and fertility treatment that succeeded. It supported me through a nerve-wracking pregnancy, helped me prepare for labour and birth. Postpartum it helped me deal with night sweats and the loss of identity that can come with motherhood.
Over the years I have worked with some tremendous practitioners, and acupuncture is a non-negotiable part of my self care as well as a lodestar for my life journey, offering me a way to return back to my most authentic self time and again, to keep me aligned with my personal dao, my way, my path.
It is really this simple and this profound; Five Element acupuncture is medicine for your body, your mind and your soul.
Let’s talk about daddy issues, shall we? Especially apt at this time of the year, Autumn, when the Metal Element is at its most manifest.
Absent fathers, abusive fathers, distant fathers, stressed out fathers, hardworking fathers, cheating fathers, fathers with two families, stepfathers, absent fathers, doting fathers, authoritarian fathers, DIY fathers.
Whoever they were, or weren’t, they have shaped your life in the most formative way. Your relationships with men, with women, and most importantly with yourself are fundamentally shaped by them.
Metal represents the father Chinese Medicine, ergo the kind of father we had impacts the spiritual, emotional and sometimes physical health of our Metal Element within.
If Mother represents home and hearth and unconditional love, Father represents how we interact with the world around us. ‘He’ gives us our values, our sense of quality and (self)respect. This element is the masculine aspect that shows judgement, discernment, that gives us our ability to leave things behind as we go forward. Mother wants us to stay home. Father wants us to get out there and make our mark on the world. *but not in that dress young lady.
So if you consider your relationships with the male caregivers in your life through this lens, what does that look like for you? Do you have a strong sense of self-respect, a healthy self-image, a comfortable relationship with intimacy, sexual pleasure, good friends around you? Is your life one of smart-ish choices and partners who offer you their best self?
Reaching true maturity means coming to a place in life where decisions and life choices are yours, and yours alone. Where you are able to please yourself, properly. This doesn’t mean not caring about the people in your life or considering them but it does mean placing your needs and desires and dreams right up there at the top, a filter for your decision making. Doesn’t mean you always choose yourself first, but when you don’t, you are aware you are doing that.
And guess what else it means? It means realising that you are your own father. Going to say that again, as its a bit wild. You are your own father. Yes, you. You are the one who knows what is best for you, who understands how special you are, who knows which people are best for you, and you are your biggest cheerleader as you take the risks that move you forward and help you grow. YOU.
Supporting your Metal Element at this time of the year help you work with that really powerful energy, day by day, year by year, until it’s true and as instinctive to you as breathing.
Winter is a strange season. Actively disliked by many, endured and dreaded, it can be seen as something to 'get through', as February lurks with the twin dreads of Valentines Day AND the paradoxically shortest but longest month reputation.
I love winter.
I grew up in the North East of Scotland where snow was reliably deep (and crisp and even). The short days were full of light, as the blanket of white reflected the day and somehow made it more day. Power cuts weren't great, sure, but as a kid they were also adventures. Oil heaters, putting on school clothes while you were still in bed, candlelight. And community. Because when things get catastrophic you need your community.
As an acupuncturist I also have an appreciation for the gifts of the season, and its corresponding Element of Water, the expression of deepest Yin. In the deep, dark places within us are the seeds of our potential, the power to survive and thrive, imprinted in the Kidneys. We hold in each of us a blueprint that will lead us back to our self if we can remember to look.
In Katherine May's remarkable book 'Wintering' she talks about Winter not just as a physical season but as challenging time in our life, when all of our resources are called to bear just to survive. A break up, a serious illness, depression, loss, all of these herald a Winter of sorts. And she also talks about necessary these life events are to us all, as this is where we are invited to remember who we are, what's important, and how to live.
Chinese Medicine in its wisdom knew all this, that the challenges of Winter offer us a way back to ourselves. When the noise of the world is stilled by the snow on the ground, and moving around is difficult, and life is reduced to the interior, it is easier for us to naturally echo nature. We retreat. But when our winters are mild how to we give ourselves the gift - and it is a gift - of a good, hard winter.
What does that mean? Prune your life back to the essential, essentially, and go to your interior, your subconscious, your unconscious.
Sleep more, focus on quiet activities, tend your kidney essence and nourish your soul and self. Eat warm foods, draw yourself into your deep and swim in your waters there. If that makes you uncomfortable ask yourself why? What is busy-ness distracting you from? Why don't you deserve, or value, rest? What do you dream of?
And tend the areas of your life that are essential to you and your happiness. This isn't the time to start new projects, that is for the Spring. But sit with your ideas for the year, spend time with them so that when nature turns from dormancy to growth you are ready to grow too and the seeds of your desires have your full power behind them.
Winter well, my friends.
"`A sharp winter, sometimes, would do us good." - Katherine May
Overload, overwhelm, over it.
All feelings that you are probably familiar as we emerge from the most recent COVID lockdown in the UK. No matter what your personal circumstances, we are living through a time of collective trauma. Toxic, traumatic stress wreaks real havoc on our nervous system, which is why it can feel like it wouldn't take much to tip us completely over the edge (if we haven't already experienced some time in free-fall).
Some of our important relationships have changed and may never recover. We may have lost people we love. We may have had COVID, or are now experiencing Long COVID. We may have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and not been able to access healthcare. We may have had a child in isolation and missed out on the support of community that makes those early days, weeks, months ok. We may have lost our job, or had to find a whole new way of using our skills to earn money. Back to living with parents, stuck in a house-share with people we don't love, having a bright light shone on the darkest parts of our selves, and those around us.
Toxic, traumatic stress.
And, as we start to try and put the world back together again, we face another set of challenges. The world is changed. There is no 'back to the way things were'. Some of this may be extremely positive in the longer term. But how do we cope in the here and now? How do we begin to process this all without it feeling heavy?
How do we embrace the future without getting lost in our grief for the past?
We need to find a way of adjusting, To adjust means to change, and this is where Five Element acupuncture can be invaluable. In 'The Tao of Trauma' Alaine D. Duncan talks about 'the zone of resiliency', a state of being where the tension between both states of our nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic (ie 'awake and alert' and 'rest and digest') are balanced. She suggests in her book that when these are in balance we have a greater capacity to manage life's challenges (assuming we had a secure and loving childhood. That's a whole other post). She calls this the 'zone of resiliency'.
What has happened to ALL OF US over the last year or more, is that we have all ended up spending far too much time in the red zone of toxic stress. What that means is that it is more than likely our nervous system has gone out whack, whether we are aware of it or not. We have had to mobilise all of our adaptability and primal drive to survive as a species, and as individuals, to try and find a way through this. One of the ways we cope with trauma is just to focus on surviving it. We don't think about it at the time, we are too busy dealing with it.
What seems to be important now is that we each of us find ways to come to terms with what was, what has been, and what will be. That we find our way back to our own zone of resiliency. There is a lot of research that shows how acupuncture can help regulate the nervous system. You can find some of those references here.
What we know helps is this: Sleeping well. Exercising appropriately. Eating a healthy, balanced diet. Hugging. Spending time in nature. Having a pet. But also....
If you find your sleep is not what it was, or should be, or could be, or you are anxious, worried about re-engaging in 'normal' social activities, you have had a worsening of skin conditions, or IBS or even your libido has disappeared, then perhaps you could consider working with an acupuncturist to help your body, mind and spirit catch up and feel supported, so that you can navigate this new world with more ease.
And as a 'sweetener' (I'm sorry, honestly, the older I get the more 'dad' my jokes get) here's a link to the best song about overload ever, by the original line up of the Sugababes. It's a stone cold classic. Did I mention a good old sing your heart out can also help?!
I had my final embryo transfer on April Fools Day 2015. It was the last frozen embryo in storage - and my last chance at motherhood. I felt too crushed by 8 years of trying to conceive to even consider trying again when this failed (I was convinced it would) and there was a kind of peace in that decision. It had taken too much, and defined almost a decade. A positive result on my birthday 9 days later was cautiously welcomed, but when I bled a week later I felt truly bereft. What kind of awful, cosmic April Fool was being played out?!
The bleed so early meant I couldn't know for sure if I had miscarried so I had to wait for two weeks for a scan. Then another week as that scan wasn't entirely conclusive. Then another scan a looooong 3 weeks later. Every cramp, every toilet visit, was a breath held. By this time, even though the the news was good I really didn't believe it. In fact I carried a level of that anxiety well into the pregnancy.
At the 20 week scan we have this picture, our baby giving us the universal 'it's ok' and with this 'sign' I exhaled a little. This was the point at which I started to believe this pregnancy might not be an April Fool after all but a reality. But you know, until we hit 28 weeks I still carried the fear of something happening; I counted off the weeks until a healthy, viable delivery - even if early - was possible.
I wanted to share this story because over the last decade I have worked with hundreds of women and couples who are trying to conceive and for some women the anxiety at the point of a positive test really starts to ramp up to what can feel like an unmanageable or overwhelming level. They may have previously suffered miscarriage or baby loss. They may have had close friends who went through these losses and so they are on their radar, adding to their prone-to-anxiety thoughts. They are basically waiting for the shoe to drop, for their worst fear to become reality. They are waiting for the prankster to jump out of the bushes and shout 'April Fool'.
According to Tommys, 1 in 10 women suffer anxiety and panic attacks in pregnancy.
Managing fear and anxiety around pregnancy takes a lot of energy.
So how do you do it?
Acupuncture can be a great way to help (of course I would say that but honestly it's true). CBT, meditation or mindfulness practices daily, prayer, exercise, walking, eating well, these are all things that can help.
Talking to someone you trust. Therapy even, especially after baby loss.
Minimise other stresses or areas of stress in your life if you are able to, because if that bucket is being filled up with a lot of other stuff too then you are really going to struggle to maintain your equilibrium.
Step away from the internet and stop googling every bad thought. You inevitably end down a rabbit hole of awful outcomes because people who go through terrible things are compelled to share that experience as a way of processing it.
Book an early viability scan (no earlier than 7 weeks) if you can afford to and if it will help.
Above all, don't give yourself a hard time about the fact you are anxious and not enjoying a longed for pregnancy. You are not alone in this feeling; there are so many women walking around with babies who held their breath for 9 months.
Finally, trust your intuition. If you really feel that something is wrong, go to the Early Pregnancy Unit or speak to your midwife. Our intuition puts us in touch with the unconscious part of ourself that we should never ignore. Trust your instincts.
“Women observe subconsciously a thousand little details, without knowing that they are doing so. Their subconscious mind adds these little things together – and they call the result intuition.”- Agatha Christie
I have just finished an Instagram series of posts on the theme of #twelveangrywomen, inspired by the outpouring of anger women all over the UK were expressing following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard. Her death tore the plaster off the wound all women wear, which is the threat of violence women live with every day. This happened in the same week that Meghan and Harry Windsor's interview with Oprah Winfrey aired and the anger directed at this couple, but in particular, at this woman was frankly staggering.
Sadly, society teaches women in a myriad of ways that anger is an ugly emotion for them to express. Judged, ridiculed, dismissed as hormonal or mentally ill, this has been historically reinforced through organised religion, the media, portrayals in fiction on the page and on the screen, and normalised by women themselves. When we buy magazines that peddle scandal and shame, or we watch reality tv shows that applaud the taking down of strong women we collude in our own oppression.
So my dander was well and truly up.
It is time to understand anger as a useful emotion if we can master it.
It is time to celebrate assertiveness as a life skill that is as important to our health and happiness as the ability to express love.
It is time to applaud women when they are forceful, or passionate, or righteously indignant about their rights and their lives instead of colluding in their judgement (Camilla Long's vitriolic review of the Meghan & Harry's interview in the Sunday Times was as masterclass in mean girl behaviour and a prime example of how culpable we women are in upholding the status quo).
The image at the top this blog is a Chinese pictogram of nu, or anger. On the left we have a representation of the figure of a woman. On the right we have a representation of the figure of a man, or of authority leading her. These together denote the word 'slave' (which can of course be male or female). The addition of the symbol underneath turns this word from slave to anger, but tells us much about the quality of this anger.
This is the anger we experience when we feel that something or someone is impeding our ability to live our life, or to progress in life in the way we feel we should be able to. What rises up in us is a dynamic emotion, that rush of blood to the head, which desires us to be assertive in order to remain in alignment with our goals or feelings.
In Chinese Medicine anger is associated with the Wood Element and if someone's Causative Factor (ie the Element in them that goes 'off kilter') is Wood, what we are likely to see is inappropriate levels of anger and frustration. But in health and balance - and we all have all the Elements within us - this Element gives us the ability to stand up for ourselves with the right amount of aggression, or assertiveness.
Through the series of posts I talk about why anger needs to be physically expressed in order for it not to become pathological and cause us illness or dis-ease, I look at repressed anger, passive-aggressiveness, the righteous anger that creates change (civil rights movements, Marcus Rashford's school meals activism, Gina Miller holding the government to account over Brexit etc), so do go back and take a look at them if this blog creates an itch you'd like to scratch.
And if you have an issue with anger - too much or not enough healthy aggression - then a course of Five Element acupuncture would be a useful starting point to help you master this important, useful emotion for life.
Talking 'bout a revolution.....
One of the better-known treatment protocols in Chinese Medicine is the use of moxibustion to help turn breech babies. It's something I have been doing in clinical practice for almost a decade now but over the years I have undertaken more specialist postgrad training, both in acupuncture and with Spinning Babies, which has greatly informed how I work with women and their babies at this time.
And, excitingly (for me, at least) here's what I can tell you.
Since June 2020 I have been keeping track of how successful my treatments have been in helping encourage babies to get into the optimal position for birth (cephalic, or head down) because it was important to me to track where it was working or where it may not have been.
9 out of 10 babies turned.
I believe in Chinese Medicine but, honestly, even I was surprised by that! But what we are taught is this: if the baby can turn, it will turn.
Here I suggest you try and start moxibustion as close to 34 weeks as possible but I have worked with several women who didn't know their babies were breech until 36 weeks, and they turned too.
Of course sometimes babies turn, and then turn back. That's where they want to be, they know why and we need to trust that too.
Why are babies breech?
There are many reasons a baby might present as breech past 34 weeks (many turn spontaneously before then) and 3-4% of babies present this way. I don't know if this has increased statistically during lockdown - I have seen more than usual but that is definitely not a representative sample.
Certainly the recent months have certainly led to a decrease in activity for many women in the UK - they may not be commuting, socialising as they would, can't access exercise as easily and the curtailment of these things can really affect the pelvic alignment and flexibility as well as the abdominal and rib spaces.
I always recommend the Spinning Babies daily stretches to clients, now more than ever, because this definitely makes a difference. And of course if the baby is breech they have special techniques to try.
A friend also told me that when the mother is sad the baby moves its head towards the heart to comfort her. I don't have any idea if this is true, but it feels true. Certainly I have treated women who needed a much broader treatment approach than just a 'straightforward' breech treatment and releasing emotional stagnation seemed to play a major part in helping the body open properly and find its optimal alignment.
It's not just about moxibustion.
I also work with an incredible network of osteopaths and chiropractors with extensive experience and training in this work (if you are looking for a chiropractor make sure they know the Webster Technique). I regularly refer my clients to them because it is all very well for me to direct the baby to move, but we need to make sure they have enough room to! This is especially important if you are around 35/36 weeks.
Our bodies hold all kinds of tension and effects of impacts, accidents and surgeries and pregnancy can often bring this to the fore or exacerbate underlying imbalance in the musculoskeletal system. It's not just about getting the baby to move head down, it's sometimes also about making sure the baby can engage with the cervix in the optimal way for labour. That's a whole other post as it is a big topic, but important to mention here too.
When might we not offer moxibustion as a Chinese medicine practitioner? These don't all preclude you from trying moxibustion (and this is not the full list) but we may refer to your obstetrician or midwife to have them sign off first.
Any recent surgery, including a c-section, low-lying placenta or placenta prevue (we can treat that too if you come and see us earlier in pregnancy, that's a separate post!), any uterine or pelvic abnormalities, issues around amniotic fluid levels, history of bleeding in pregnancy, threatened premature labour, any hint of foetal distress, twins and triplets, maternal hypertension or any signs of pre-eclampsia, diabetes, and Rh negativity.
The Kidneys have a very special role in Chinese Medicine, far beyond the physical function we understand from a Western medicine perspective. Imagine your two kidneys as a personal jetpack on your back; our stamina, our endurance, our ability to keep going when we are tired or need to find the juice for that extra mile comes from these bad boys.
Our kidneys are said to house Jing, one of the three treasures of Chinese Medicine. This essence is our energetic stock cube, the concentrated good stuff, THE JETPACK.
This is what our body draws on when we are highly stressed, in danger, running on empty - the kind most of us are using at the moment!
There are some simple things we can do to look after our Kidneys, especially at this time of the year. Why in Winter? The Kidneys and Bladder are the manifestation of the Water Element, associated with Winter, the time of the year when nature is taking a rest in order to replenish herself for the year ahead. It's a good idea to take her lead!
Sleep Well or Take a Break at 5pm.
One of the best ways we have to counteract the effects of using our jetpack is to sleep well. It allows our nervous system to rest properly, balances our hormones, supports the health of our immune system, and so much more.
But if - like me - you are finding this kind of sleep harder to come by at the moment then my 'go to tip' is to meditate or do a Yoga Nidra practise.
This is 'Kidney' time according to the Chinese Clock, so if you are low on jetpack reserves this is the time when you are most likely to feel it. This is said to be equivalent to 2 hours of deep sleep. So, you can give the jetpack a rest and show your Kidneys a little love with this low-key but powerful yoga practice.
Stay Warm In the Winter.
The Kidney meridian begins on the sole of the foot, it's the only meridian to have contact with the earth in this way, but it does mean it's basically a direct line to conduct cold directly to the Kidneys.
So if you have wooden floors or tiles, get yourself some socks that you love a decent pair of baffies (that's slippers if you're English) and keep Kidney 1 covered.
The lower back should also stay warm, and if you are prone to feeling the cold you could do worse than invest in a haramaki, which is basically a Japanese boob tube for the waist. You will thank me for it.
This message is EVEN MORE important if you are trying to conceive. You remember I mentioned Jing the essence, the treasure that we inherit? Well, strong Jing helps with conception. Freezing your jings off ain't gonna help.
Also if your feet are always cold see an acupuncturist - that's not a normal thing, even if its normal for you. And do all of the above.
Listen To Your Ears!
In Chinese Medicine the ears are the sense organ associated with the Kidney Official, the link between tinnitus and deficient Kidney Qi well established in this modality.
When the Kidneys are healthy then our hearing is sharp. Kidneys, Jing essence, depletes with age (or as the Kidney essence depletes), so it makes sense to us practitioners that getting harder of hearing as you get older happens.
And whaddya know Western medicine is finally at the party, whoop!!
Recent research has shown that tinnitus is 3-fold more likely to develop in patients with versus without chronic kidney disease.
Essentially the tissue in the kidney is the same as the tissue in the inner ear, so this all adds up. But you know what is mind blowing? The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago. A system of medicine developed then is still more than fit for purpose. Hell yeah!
Drink More Water.
The message is simple. Drink enough water. Quite simply, everything that happens in our body requires being properly hydrated for that to happen. Water powers us. Without it, nothing else happens. We all know this.
But when it's cold the last thing we feel like doing is gubbing a large glass of water. So have a pint glass by the bed and take that on board first thing. Your bowels will show their appreciation.
Then fill a carafe of water as you stick the kettle on for your morning brew. By the time you are showered or have worked out or whatever it is you do first thing, it will get to room temperature and you can fill and refill your glass from that. It's much easier to drink, I promise!
If you are working from home have it next to you, as it is a rule of life that it is even harder to remember to drink enough water when it's not an excuse to have a gossip by the communal waterfilter or in the kitchen.
That is all. If your pee is yellow, drink water. If your pee smells, drink water. If you are tired, drink water. If you are thirsty, drink even more water. If you're a bit bored, drink water. If your skin is dry, drink water.
Look after your Jetpack!
Passionate about the pins.
Please contact me if you would like to book a free telephone consultation. You can also follow me on social media via the links below.
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