WINTER AND THE ESSENCE (JING)
We are slowly entering the time of winter – the time of the Water element whose main organs are Kidneys.
In winter, the ground freezes and gets covered by snow. Nature takes rest and collects the energy for the whole upcoming year.
Why is rest so very important at this exact time?
Kidneys are such an important organ because they store the body’s essence (Jing), which is the most primal substance of our bodies. There are two types of essence – the prenatal essence (pre-heaven Jing) and the postnatal essence (post-heaven Jing).
Prenatal essence is given to us at conception. It influences our growth and development, and it determines our bodily constitution. We can’t renew it or add to it, we can only preserve it and prevent its loss. Essence loves balance and moderation in all aspects of life: food, work, rest, sex, … There are special techniques that help preserve essence, like breathing techniques and Qi Gong. When our body runs out of the prenatal essence, we die.
We acquire the postnatal essence primarily from food. It depends greatly on the function of the stomach and the spleen. In TCM everything is very intertwined – strong “middle”, which are the stomach and spleen, are very important for the health of the kidneys. In this sense, we can to some extent influence and ‘add to’ the postnatal essence.
The most obvious signs of weak kidneys are the typical signs of aging
The most obvious signs of weak Kidneys are the typical signs of ageing: greying of hair, loss of hair, weak teeth and bones, hearing loss, … It is no wonder that therapy of the Kidneys is the foundation of the anti-aging acupuncture, which is becoming very popular in the modern world.
Winter is the darkest time of the year and this darkness (which shouldn’t be seen as negative) should also be reflected in our bodies. If we don’t take time to rest in winter, this will influence our well-being for the whole upcoming year; just like a sleepless night influences the whole next day.
If we don’t take time to rest in winter, this will influence our well-being the whole upcoming year; just like a sleepless night influences the whole next day.
December and January are the main winter months. We must make sure they will be full of quality rest, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy essence. Let’s indulge ourselves with evenings spent under the blanket, cooked food and gentle bodywork. Let’s say “no” to activities that drain our energy and to crowds of people, and let’s rather invest into building deep relationships in smaller circles. This way we will have enough energy for the festivities and energetically more challenging activities in the seasons to come.