Self Care

Self Care is any activity that you do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health.

Winter – 14th January 2018

“Winter is the season of recovery and preparation.”

                                                           Paul Theroux

Chinese Medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. There are five seasons linked to the 5 Element Theory of Chinese Medicine. Winter is the season associated with the water phase of the 5 Element Theory. Yin is dominating Yang. All manifestations of life has died away leaving only the essential elements. A time to conserve and store your energy. A time to plan and prepare for the coming year. It is a time to nurture and strengthen our positive habits both physically and emotionally to encourage our good health. Why do you think we have New Year’s resolutions?

Useful acupressure point:

Especially, with the cold and flu season upon us we need all the help we can get to boost our immune system. Apply pressure, for 30 seconds or so, with your finger or thumb to Kidney 27 (shufu) daily, morning and evening. It has a strong effect in treating coughs, wheezing, asthma and is especially good for treating people prone to upper respiratory tract infections. It boosts your immune system. Details of how to locate Kidney 27 are readily available on the Web.

Winter food

In winter our bodies need warming foods like soups and stews made with vegetables that naturally grow in season. Foods that specifically nourish and warm the Kidneys are black beans, kidney beans, walnuts and dark leafy greens.

Try this recipe to warm and nourish your body on a cold winter’s day:

Kidney Bean and Spinach Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 (400g) tins of kidney beans rinsed
  • 1 stick celery chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 250g spinach (or kale)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 500 mls vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

Method

  1. Heat oil gently and fry celery and onion slowly until tender. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the beans, stock, seasoning and additional water if needed. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or so.
  2. Part blend the mixture leaving some vegetables and beans whole.
  3. Return back to the pot and reheat adding the spinach or kale and simmer until cooked. Remove from heat and serve.

Finally, for those of you interested in reading more about 5 Element Theory I would recommend Nora Franglen’s book: ‘The Handbook of Five Element Practice’. Nora also has a brilliant blog: norafranglen.blogspot.co.uk.

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from  the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can chose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.”

                                                        Gary Zukav