Close up of winter snowflake for winter wellness

Winter Wellness Tips

Winter is here, and winter wellness is top of mind! We associate the season with Kidney energy according to East Asian medicine. The Kidney stores the body’s foundational, reserve energy – so it’s especially crucial to nourish and restore at this time of year. 

One of the ancient texts of East Asian medicine, the Nei Jing, states: It is the concentrated internal force of winter that enables a seed to burst forth in spring growth. This line perfectly illustrates just how important it is to take care of yourself this season! Below, we share our optimal winter wellness tips, so that you can set yourself up for optimal health in the coming year. 

1. Keep warm

First and foremost, it’s important to keep yourself warm during the winter months. Winter corresponds with Kidney and Bladder in East Asian medicine, so you want to focus especially on the areas of those meridians – the neck, back, and feet. Avoid extended periods of time in the cold, which can deplete Kidney energy, and cause stagnation leading to aches and pains. If you do feel yourself getting chilled, drink warm tea or consider a warm bath or shower to get your circulation going. 

Picture of a hand holding a mug with warm tea and a blanket on a lap

2. Eat warm food

Warm and nourishing stew in a black pot on an orange background

Break out the soup, stew and braising recipes! Food that is cooked for long periods of time are especially nourishing for the Kidney reserves during the winter. According to East Asian nutritional theory, specific foods that support Kidney energy are salty and dark foods, including: 

seaweed, shellfish, nuts, black / kidney beans, root veggies, whole grains, dark berries, and bone broth. Warming spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and garlic, are also ideal for winter wellness. Avoid raw and cold food as much as you can during wintertime – salads and smoothies are best left for warmer times of year.

3. Time for self-care and reflection

The internal, dark, yin nature of this time of year presents us with the opportunity for reflection and self-care. Using meditation, journalling, yoga, etc., to process the emotions and experiences of the year sets us up well for a fresh start come spring.

Picture of journal with hand holding a pen and writing inside

These tools can also help manage the stress that so often comes during the holiday season (acupuncture is great for that too!).

4. Balance rest and activity

Two hands against a dusk sky holding lit sparklers

We also seek out yang energy – in the form of celebration and light – to counterbalance the peak yin energy of the winter. Striking this balance, without exhausting or overextending yourself, can help nourish your Kidney energy as well.

5. Come in for acupuncture

Whether you’re looking to boost your Kidney reserves, beat holiday stress, boost your immune system, or move food stagnation from holiday indulgence … acupuncture and herbs can be of great support this time of year. 

Close-up of skin with three needles inserted, with two hands holding the last needle during insertion.

Click here to book an appointment to support your winter wellness efforts, or email Calia or your practitioner to get on the schedule. 

Be well, and happy winter holidays to you, from all of us at Flourish!

Flourish Integrative Health
Fertility Acupuncture | Santa Rosa
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Flourish Integrative Health - Acupuncture Clinic in Santa Rosa