Winter is the end of all seasons. To integrate with winter, we are going have to emphasize on the yin (feminine principle) to become more receptive, introspective, and storage-oriented. Winter is related to the element Water. Water is the essential medium of the body through which all things pass. This fluid of life is important for the function of the kidneys and bladder. These organs are associated with the Water element and winter season.
The winter diet should be warming and consist of more whole grains, less fruit, lots of steamed or baked vegetables, squashes and soups. Even though the grocery stores have watermelons in the produce section, that doesn’t mean we have to eat them. Watermelon is s summer food. Eating it during winter months with send mixed messages to your digestive system. The body changes with the seasons automatically. We have to consciously make the ebb and flow transition with mother nature and our internal clock, to allow our organs to preform their best. Eating the foods of the season will help maintain your health over all.
We should consume foods that promote the growth and development of the body and mind; such food should also provide renewal, longevity, reproductive capacity and protection from premature aging. A good selection of foods that have these qualities to varying degrees are turnips, celery, asparagus, parsnip, cabbage, quinoa, seaweeds, millet, butternut squash, purple potatoes, string beans, adzuki beans, mung beans, seaweeds, and black sesame seed. To add warmth to the body, drink herbal roots and teas like ginger and ginseng. These two are fine tonics and rejuvenators that work great as an energizer. Much of nature is hiding in her roots during the winter months, storing and gathering energy to be reborn in the spring, so try to eat more root vegetables during the winter season.
The Water Element emotion for the kidney is fear. Stress and insecurity causes fear. Fear causes the adrenals to secret excessive energy to the kidneys which in turns prevents the kidneys to remove excess water. Causing the kidneys to become imbalanced or weak. Emotionally fear fosters a general insecurity about life and blocks loving experiences.
We live in a world that promotes fear. Some of us thinks fear is our enemy but it’s not at all. A little fear is healthy. Fear shows up to warn and protects us, encouraging us to move away form that which causes harm. So as we enter the winter months, find some time to go inward and focus more on what makes you happy. Do whatever it takes to create a stress-free environment. Look deep within your own fears to see the root cause. Could it be that your fears are coming from outside stimulations or is it, false expectations appearing to be real? Restoring balance to the kidneys, will help raise your energy level tremendously as the dark cloud of fear lifts.
The Kidneys filters the blood removing waste. Urine is made as blood
passes from the kidneys through the bladder then the urethra. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long and about the size of a fist. The Kidneys represents the roots of the body and the foundation of all the yin and yang qualities in the body. Think of the kidneys as the pilot light of your body, the ‘life-force’. They rule the lower part of the body including the sexual organs and their reproductive functions. They also provide energy and warmth. The adrenal glands contribute to the energy, warmth and sexuality. The adrenals are located directly on top of the kidneys and produce secretions that fuel the kidneys. Think of the adrenals as the spark plugs or the stimulator of the body’s energy.
Much of nature is hiding in her roots during the winter months, storing and gathering energy to be reborn in the spring. Take time out for yourself and go inward and focus on what makes you happy. Reflect on the prior months and see what areas in your life can use improvement and release all that no longer works for you.
When the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder are imbalance you may experience the following:
- Puffiness of the face
- Ear disorders
- Ear infection
- Loss of hearing
- Darkness under eyes
- Excessive lung disorder (acute asthma)
- Excessive sweating
- Water retention (body retains too much water)
- Growth retardation in children
- Head hair (baldness, thin hair)
- Lower backache, week knees or legs
- Cartilage and joint disorders
- Glandular disorders (lymphatic, thyroid, thymus)
- Genital and urinary disorders (scanty menstruation, men produce less
- Infertility, impotence
- Urinary tract infection (pain when urinating)
- Bladder infection (frequency or urgency to urinate)
- Blood in urine
- Inflammation of the bladder
- Frontal headache
- Pain in shoulder
- Arthritis of joints
- Pain in the buttocks or leg
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness, numbness in leg or foot
- Constant pain on one side of buttocks