“The highest good is like water,
Water is good at benefiting the ten thousand things,
And yet does not contend with them.
It dwells in places the multitudes detest,
Therefore, it is close to the dao.
-Tao De Ching
In Chinese medicine, the water element is associated with the winter season, the kidneys and the bladder officials. This include the organs as well as it’s energetic pathway. It is the gift of water that allows us to prepare for all the dark, silent, uncertain moments in life. So it is in winter, we have the potential to tap deep into our own resources and inner strength. Our water element gives us clear guidance through our unique journey as well as our collective journey in these wild times.
For most of us, winter is here but it has felt a bit like winter all year long due to the pandemic. Many of us have been home more than ever. Some of us find it heavenly. Most of us, may be struggling to look inward, to listen, and to follow our inner light in the midst of much chaos from a public health and a divisive political standpoint. Some of us have lost hope in humanity. It has been the winter of winters in 2020 and 2021.
Be encouraged. Our staying home practices all year long have prepared us for what is now. We can be aligned with winter to maintain our health in body, mind, and spirit, today. Water is the beginning and the end, a turning point in a way. We may fear the darkness, the cold, the quiet, and the uncertainty. However, it is here in the dark, in the deep listening of life, that we can turn fear into wisdom and courage. Illness can heal in this state of rest and restoration. The body needs rest to allow the healing process, to restore fluids and to strengthen the wei qi or protective qi, the energy in Chinese medicine that boosts our immunity and facilitates healing. This happens best with quality sleep and avoiding overwork. We can foster courage through introspection and moving through the uncertainty. Yes, our journey often seems to be longer than we anticipated. Gratitude is always difficult before the journey is over. Rest in knowing our inner light can carry us through this journey of deep knowing. This unrelentless will or the Zhi, the spirit of water is the power to live. It resides in the most hidden part of our unconscious, and connects us to our collective unconscious.
Be reassured that we will find ourselves on the other side of the silence and darkness. Underneath all the noise of silence or fear buzzing around us, with courage and renewed strength, continue on the journey beyond the valley, in and out of the infinite. Look forward to gratitude on the other side. Can you imagine it?
Kidney 10, the water within water acupuncture point, is the ultimate yin, our deepest state of receptivity and stillness. This point allows rest in the deep midnight ocean in you. It is the kind of rest that gives birth to newness and the energy of springtime just around the corner. The bladder, the yang aspect of water is our night light. Our eyes are our ears, and a deep level of awareness and vigilence can arise.
How can we align with the season of winter and cultivate the spirit of Zhi?
- When fear arises, sit with it, breathe, wait, don’t resist.
- Be okay with a day or a period of time of doing nothing, be unproductive, yes, you can practice unproductivity!
- Participate in calming exercises like gentle stretching, yin yoga, tai chi or qi gong.
- Drink plenty of water especially between the hours of 3-5pm.
- Meditate – rest the mind to allow clarity and avoid overthinking or rumination.
- Take a walk in nature and observe water through rivers, ponds and oceans.
- Sleep 8-9 hours minimally.
- Get a foot massage – the kidney meridian starts at the bottom of the foot!
“Be water, my friend.” -Bruce Lee
We are committed to support those who need care at this time with extreme caution and with every precaution. We are equipped with the proper PPE including use of an N-95 mask, a new air purifying system with UV-C light filtration and sanitizing methods during and between all treatments. A pre-screening phone call, email or text message prior to your visit will determine if your care is essential, appropriate and safe. Daily temperature readings via a no touch infrared thermometer and a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation levels is used for every client. Please wear a mask for your appointment if you have one.
Telemedicine is also available for any consultation and treatment needed including distance zero balancing, nutritional counseling, Chinese herbal medicine prescription, and exercise prescription.
*If you are a healthcare professional, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
*If you have a primary care physician at Shands, invites for the COVID-19 vaccine are being sent through mychart if you are at higher risk for infection.
*For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine through Alachua County: