Oriental Medicine

Winter and the Water Element

Giving Back to Yourself This Year

Valerie Schwankl
January-February 2018 • Vol 3, No 96

Under heaven, nothing is more soft and yielding than water. Yet, for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better. It has no equal. The weak can overcome the strong; The supple can overcome the stiff. Under heaven, everyone knows this. Yet, no one puts it into practice. —Tao Te Ching, Ch. 78

As we begin the new year, we have officially cycled into the water element! In contrast to the fire, warmth, and yang energy of summer, this is the most yin time of the year. Darkness, stillness and cold temperatures prevail. Within the snowy folds of winter is an invitation to rest, nourish and consolidate resources. Through exploring the organs and acupuncture channels associated with the water element, we can find ways to live harmoniously with the season, and better prepare our bodies for the coming year.

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2018-03-23T07:53:11-06:00Oriental Medicine|

Clearing Out Summer’s Heat

for Winter’s Health

Kristine Backes, MA
September–October 2017 • Vol 3, No 94

Ancient healing traditions such as Ayurveda see the transitions between the seasons as an opportunity to pause, take a break, and clear out imbalances accumulated in the previous few months. Much as we love our summers here in Montana, the long days, high temperatures and intense activity can result in excess heat lodging in our bodies.

In Ayurvedic teaching, any substance we take into our bodies that is not completely digested and either assimilated or eliminated can become a toxin, called “ama.” Ama tends to collect first in the digestive system, then spill over into the parts of the body in which we are uniquely vulnerable.

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