acupuncture corner: december

December: It’s the most Yin-ful Time of the Year!

By Jordan New, LAc

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished

~Lao Tzu

Yin and Yang represent the duality of everything in existence. Yin and Yang are inseparable. Light does not exist without darkness and vice versa. Planet Earth follows the patterns of Yin and Yang with the change of seasons. Yin is cold and darkness. Yang is warmth and brightness. The shortest day and longest night of the year are upon us. Therefore, at this time on the northern hemisphere of planet earth, we are in the greatest moment of Yin, and least Yang.

As we move through the winter solstice, it’s important to embrace our surroundings. Life is dormant. Cold and darkness are present. This time of year, most animals either hibernate, or go somewhere else warmer and full of life. Most humans, however, continue working hard, and don’t comply with seasonal shifts. In fact, moving into winter, many humans stretch themselves too thin, doing more than normal to prepare for the holidays. This leads to disharmony with nature, and eventually can lead to disease. Ever wonder why more people get sick in the winter than the summer? It partly has to do with not slowing down, and not yielding to nature’s transitional patterns.

December Wellness Tip: One of the best things you can do during this time of year is to rest as much as possible. If you don’t want to get sick, give your body ample time to rest and restore the immune system.

Be Mindful of what you eat. In a cold ‘Yin’ time of year, warming foods are important to balance your system. Eat hearty soups with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves and fennel. These spices have warming properties, in addition to the warm temperature of the food. Drink plenty of warming herbal tea.

December Acupuncture Point: The organs associated with winter are the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder. A good acupressure point you can use on your own is Kidney 7 (KD 7) Fuliu – Recover Flow point.

When our surroundings are cold and dark, we want to increase the warmth in our bodies with food as mentioned earlier, and by stimulating points that activate Yang energy in our body. KD 7 does exactly that. This point can also be used to regulate sweating, reduce edema and control urination issues. You can stimulate this point by finding your medial malleolus (inner ankle bone) and going up your leg two fingers width, just anterior to your achilles tendon. Firmly press or massage this point for 60 seconds on both sides. By understanding the natural cycles of life, it allows us to embrace our surroundings, and live in flow.