You and Your Health
Cold Weather Season is Upon Us! Health Tips for Winter
Leaving lung season behind as the last leaves fall to the ground and winter rears its cold and sometimes harsh head, we begin our journey into kidney/bladder season.
Kidney season is the darkest, coldest time of the year when activity in the plant kingdom occurs deep in the roots. In humans, this time of year represents energetic reserves, the will to survive, courage, slow movement, self-actualization, trust and faith.The element for kidney is water; this is an emotional time of year. It is time to dig deep into oneself and grow at the root level.
When out of balance, the kidney element will show fear and a struggle for survival/ fight or flight! If you lack appropriate reserves you will show signs of exhaustion, urinary disorders, infertility, weakness in the endocrine system, hair loss, as well as fear and lack of trust.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about two quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Because the kidneys are largely responsible for clearing waste and act as a filtering plant for the body, we must keep our kidneys in peak performance.
Here are some tips on how to stay strong and healthy through the winter months:
1. With kidney season comes fun-filled festivities throughout the holidays, which mean over-indulging in the worst of the worst! Instead of depleting your kidneys/bladder with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, consume sweet potato, carrot and squash-based soups and deserts. I’ll even eat my pumpkin squash soups for dessert! Check out my website for the healthy U cookbook for great recipe ideas.
2. BYOT - bring your own tea, I love a warm, rich cinnamon, clove, spice tea for the holiday season. My favorite is by Good Earth, original sweet and spicy. It’s amazing!
3. Eat more steamed foods at this time of year. The energy of baking is drying and can deplete the necessary water element of kidneys, so steam and lightly sauté to give you the oils we so desperately need a this time of year.
4. The bladder/kidney meridian runs through the entire body, as you can see in the picture below. The meridian begins at the soles of the feet, so keep your feet warm in the winter! Then it travels up the inner most part of the leg behind the inside of the knee crossing over and up the back of the leg. An inner meridian travels through the kidneys into the liver, heart and lungs, then to the throat and into the ears. Listen to your body. Aches and pains behind the knees could be weakness in kidneys. Chronic throat or ear issues could very well be from depletion of kidney chi (energy) which comes from over-consumption of caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
5. Bones are kept strong from the energy of the kidney and bladder. Dry, broken, split hair, balding or partial balding in men and women may have to do with an imbalance in the kidneys.
6. Kidneys can become depleted and drained from incessant talking, so try to give your throat/voice a rest every so often through the winter months, take a silent retreat or create one at home. This is good for all ages, haha.
7. This video offers great exercises to stimulate the kidneys.