By Shelby Ramirez

THE WATER ELEMENT – How to stay cool, calm, & collected during Winter.

We’ve long been aware of the connection between humans and nature – we share a relationship that is both interdependent and interconnected.

 

 EARTH,  WATER,  WOOD,  FIRE,  METAL

 These are the five elements that represent everything from a small emotion to a large and destructive tornado. The Five Element theory is the backbone of Chinese medicine and philosophy. Each element within this dynamic cycle manifests through a season, an emotion, a taste, a feeling, etc.


The Water element is birthed from Metal and the season of Autumn. It is our most Yin time, representing Winter, long nights, and the color black. Water correlates to the energetic Yin Yang marriage of two important organs: Kidneys (Yin) and Urinary Bladder (Yang).*

 

EMBODIMENTS OF THE WATER ELEMENT

One of the Kidney’s primary functions is storing and controlling JING. Jing is the essence of life and responsible for vitality. It is the basis for Qi and therefore all body functions and activities. Jing can be thought of as your life force energy, received from your parents before you were born. Each one of us is born with a limited supply of prenatal Jing and when it is completely depleted, death comes. Because Jing is responsible for both growth and life, we are focused on the ways in which we can preserve this treasure.

 

PRESERVE VITALITY BREAKFAST

We put together a warming breakfast recipe with your Jing in mind. It has the versatility to be sweet or savory — both options will provide your body with the proper nourishment to conserve your Jing all winter long.

 

SWEET OPTION

  • 3 cups, cooked brown or black rice
  • 2 tsp, cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup, milk of choice (we recommend oat or rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup, almonds

Place all ingredients in pan and heat and serve topped with blueberries and bee pollen.

SAVORY OPTION

  • 3 cups, cooked brown or black rice
  • 1 tsp, fresh minced garlic
  • 1 pinch, black volcanic or sea salt
  • 1 cup, milk of choice (we recommend oat or rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup, chopped lions mane (or sub shiitake) mushrooms
  • 2-3 slices, kombu (seaweed)

Place all ingredients in pan and heat and serve topped with black sesame seeds & seaweed flakes.

 

MORE WAYS TO BE IN TUNE WITH WATER

The Water element controls our ears so we put together a playlist to ignite your senses all Winter long.

 

 

DO'S

  • Keep warm & covered, especially your feet
  • Sleep in!
  • Consume foods that are warming, dark and salty (ex: nuts, seaweed, root vegetables, spices like garlic, ginger and cinnamon)
  • Journal thoughts around fear vs. courage
  • Mmeditation
  • Yoga and Tai Chi to distribute warmth

DON'TS

  • Cold food/beverages and ice (your digestion will thank you)
  • Don’t overexert yourself in any area, think conservation of energy

 

*When discussing organs through a Traditional Chinese Medicine lens we are referring to the energetic function of the organ, as opposed to the literal organ itself.