The season of Winter is that of the Water Element. It’s the time of year when Nature withdraws within, when seeds are stored for the following year, waiting patiently for the time when growth will begin again. As humans, if our Water Element is in balance, we will feel comfortable with the colder weather, seeing the opportunity to spend more time indoors, doing less, reflecting, gathering our own resources. It’s a time to sleep a little more, eat a little more, and do a little less in our lives. Among the gifts of Water are the ability to listen deeply, to have the wisdom of inner knowing, to conserve resources and gather power, to rest, and to trust..
When our Water is out of balance we become unsure, anxious, fearful, not able to trust in ourselves or the world around us. In our bodies, the organs of the bladder and the kidneys don’t function properly and we can suffer from low back pain. Our ears and our hearing may suffer. We might struggle with the cold weather and feel drained, weary in our bones. We lose our will.
In treating the Water Element, the practitioner holds points along the Water meridians of Bladder and Kidney in order to support those meridians that are our reservoirs of energy. They are like the lakes and rivers that store and carry our precious Qi.
As participants in our own health, we can support our Water by getting plenty of sleep and rest, especially in the winter, keeping warm, being sexually moderate. Foods that support Water include beans, fruits and vegetables that are blue or black in colour, small amounts of salty food like seaweed, tamari. Breathing exercises that bring the breath to the belly are great for warming the lower back and abdomen and thus supporting Bladder and Kidney meridians. Massaging the muscles of the lower back also helps to invigorate them.
The emotion of Water is fear. We can look at our relationship to fear and how it affects us. We may consider, Are we over-fearful or are we daredevils? Why is that? What is it that gets in the way of us having trust in the unfolding flow of our lives? Pondering such questions can lead us to understand how our the natural flow of our Water is impeded.