How to Stay Healthy in Winter | Modern Animism

How to Stay Healthy in Winter | Modern Animism


hello everyone welcome back thank you
for tuning in I’m Jonah Marsh. I’m just gonna continue on our short video series
of some foundational ideas of Chinese medicine and Taoism. Thank you to Pan
society. Definitely check them out check their other videos out on the channel
and Pansociety.net. So really the focus of this video is going to be twofold the
main focus is going to be on seasonal considerations and health maintenance
and in winter the season we’re in now and also just kind of a very brief
background of a really important concept from Chinese medicine and Taoist
philosophy which is whooshing or five element or five phase theory so I’ll
just kind of provide a brief overview of that first so whooshing which is a five
element or five phase theory is a seasonal model from classical Chinese
medicine which ultimately is speaking to different qualities of Qi
different qualities of energy how energy transitions and manifests throughout the
seasons so each one of these is a season but it’s also has a lot of importance
for Chinese medicine in both theory and application each season has a number of
different correspondences each season has a paired in and Yong energy channel
with them so that’s that’s what you’re seeing at the bottom of these is first
the begin channel and then secondly Yong channel or energy meridian so just to
begin with typically wishing Theory begins with spring the color is bringing
their and the organs are liver and gallbladder also I should mention that
this is proceeding in a clockwise fashion the whooshing is you know going
around like this clockwise so from spring we move into summer
summer is unique in that it actually have has four organs with it first we
have well the in organs are hard in pericardium the yon organs are small
intestine and sanjo the translation of senjo is triple bar
we don’t have time to discuss that that’s kind of a different unique
concept to Chinese medicine moving from summer into late summer we have spleen
and stomach or the energy channels there and autumn from late summer to autumn we
have the lung and large intestine this circle here is empty because the color
for autumn is actually white and from autumn we move into winter the color is
blue or black so think of you know kind of the dark bottom of a lake that dark
water that’s very cold and winter and the
organs there are kidney is the in Oregon bladder is the young or organ or channel
because it’s really it’s the energy channels but there’s it’s also important
to think about the physical organs as well with that and so from winter that
brings us back into spring and thus disciple you know the balance of the
universe is maintained as we move through these seasons and phases is just
a continual cycle so yeah we’re in winter now and this is that’s kind of
the main focus of this lecture is basically how do I stay healthy from a
classical Chinese and Taoist perspective how can I use things like herbs the
foods that I eat to stay healthy what practices are good to to engage in in
winter what practices do I want to avoid each season also has an emotional
correspondence with it which is very important in the context of Chinese
medicine because they believe that ultimately most if not all illnesses
stem from an imbalance of Shen which is one spirit or consciousness that most
illnesses that manifest on that energetic or physical level have their
root in in emotions that are unbalanced or stress so just keep that in mind
that’s a very important idea that well I’m touched on more in these lectures so
the emotion for winter on is fear however with each of the seasons or
phases there is a kind of a balancing positive assertive attitude that one can
bring in to proactively work with in a helpful way the negative emotions so
it’s fear but then we also bring in the willpower or the is that the Chinese
term is sure so the willpower is used to kind of you know counterbalance
counteract that the fear which is as we all know can at times be the fear can be
a very powerful force it can be overpowering at times if we’re not able
to address it the directional tendency all of these also have a direction
associated with it is north so you can think about those cold cold winds and
blizzards coming down from the north the flavor each season has a flare flavor
correspondence because in classical Chinese medicine the flavor of the food
that one ate was actually considered a part of the medicine so the flavor of
winter is salty typically in the West we eat a lot of salty foods with way too
much refined sodium that’s not the idea here healthy foods from winter includes
those that have naturally occurring salt so you know things that come from the
ocean particularly ocean whitefish Cod and halibut as white ocean fish are very
good as well as shellfish are very beneficial for the kidney energy this
time of year which if you remember we said in winter you know the kidney is
the in or in bladder as a young organ so these these salty foods really help to
to boost up and benefit the kidney energy and also roasted nuts
and cooked in an oven when you roast something in an oven that use a very
Hardy warming quality which energetically is very good to kind of
counterbalance you know the very cold energy this time of year particularly
walnuts are very good for the kidney energy and also black beans are
really good again black is you know the color so that black color directly
corresponds to the the kidneys is able to benefit them um so as I said this is
the most again time of year you know that’s the most feminine kind of quiet
time of year as opposed to summer which is the more young you know very active
time of year so the directional tendency as far as energy if the energy is really
kind of sinking and moving inwards to the body in this time of year we can
really take our cues from the animals as to how to be healthy you know most
animals mammals particularly hibernate they sleep they’re not as active during
the day they’re sleeping for longer periods we would also be very well
served to do this and winter it’s definitely appropriate to go to bed
earlier get up a little later so that you’re getting more sleep now it’s not
the time of year to do to really do heavy exercise where you’re sweating a
lot and over doing that exercise over time you know you may be healthy you may
think you’re being healthy and getting a really you know strong physique but
ultimately over time that excess and exercise particularly in the the winter
months will damage your your kidneys and your you want gene which ultimately
means that you’re shortening your lifespan we don’t really have time to go
into the the concept of you on joint Jing but basically just know that this
is the time of year you know we’re one it’s best to do more moderate exercise
it’s okay to do some you know lighter cardio but really you don’t want to
overdo it with that and just with the concept of exercise or touching on that
another really important concept is that it’s important to protect your pores
from from cold and went influences so that if you do exercise whether that’s
you know during the gym definitely take time to cool down and you know even
Western medicine acknowledges this that you want your pores to close make sure
that after your workout you cool down do some stretching so that
you go out in the cold those pores are closed and that you know bacteria and
from the Chinese perspective. The negative influences of cold and wind are
not able to affect your system so winter as I said you know with it’s a Yin time
of year. So in terms of, you know, if you’re a martial artist are interested
in internal practice this is definitely the time of year to practice more Qigong
or Italian which is you know more slower movements focusing on the breath slow
coordinated movements as opposed to summer summer being a young time then
that is really the time to work hard with your you know hard martial training
sparring conditioning summer is best for that winter we want to do more of the
dalian more of the young the inner cultivation practices which will open up
your pores if you’re practicing she going correctly
the pores to open it’s not really like you’re sweating a lot but they will open
so again even if you do it she go and work out you know make sure that you
cool down sufficiently which also brings us to another point when you go back
outside and it’s cold you always want to wear a hat and a scarf because you know
Western a Western perspective tell tells us that a lot of heat you know a lot of
heat is lost through those parts of the body and in Chinese medicine others the
ancient phrase they’re just a belief that in really olden times that evil
spirits can attack you know from kind of this part kind of the neighbor the neck
there that bad stuff can get in there and that’s a big concept in Chinese
medicine you always in fall and winter one of the you know definitely have a
scarf on to protect again the you know the cold and the wind from
getting in there because that can really wreak havoc with your immune system and
cause a lot of problems as wu-tang clan has said in one of their songs protect
your neck it’s a it’s true they were on to something with that okay so in
closing just to sum up health practices for winter stay warm
make sure you dress warmly keep warming foods definitely sauteing an oven
preparation is really good this time of year and just chill out don’t work so
hard don’t over exert your exert yourself and your exercise routine you
know go by a pond and meditate appreciate and you know savor get in
touch with that water element do some breathing meditation inside definitely
it’s not not energetically beneficial to breathe outdoors so definitely keep up
your meditation practice but make sure you you’re doing your breathing inside
and just get in touch with the water element feel free to comment or email me
directly with your practices you know that you feel are beneficial and winner
how do you stay stay centered and connected with the in energy at this
time of year thanks for tuning in thank you everyone
until next time

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