Today, December 21st, is the Winter Solstice. The Chinese term for Winter Solstice literally means the “extreme of yin” since Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Symbolically this node is represented by Hexagram 24, which is comprised of one Yang line at the bottom of 5 Yin lines. Hexagram 24’s name is Return – Fu (復). What is returning? The Yang and the light are returning. One of the basic laws of Yin-Yang theory is that of mutual transformation. When something reaches an extreme, then it naturally reverts to the opposite. Now is when Yin has reached its extreme thereby giving birth to Yang. This is why Winter Solstice is the time of many important holidays about lights, about birth and about renewal.
The turning points of Yin and Yang during the year (the Winter and Summer solstices) are important times for protecting our health and wellbeing. What can we do then to stay healthy during this time period? One basic recommendation is go to bed early and sleep a little longer. Winter, and particularly the Solstice, is the time of year that is most yin, a time when we should be getting more rest and experiencing more periods of silence, both physically and mentally. Finding more time for rest and reflection puts us into harmony with the Yin of Winter. That being said, too much sleep is also not great. Sleep (which is Yin) when excessive damages the Yang, which is why some of the early teachings says excessive sleep injures the Qi. The typical recommendation is that 8-9 hours of sleep is plenty for the average healthy person.
Even though Winter is the time of Yin stillness, as mentioned above the Winter Solstice marks the birth of Yang. Because movement is Yang it is important for us to “persist in moving” during this time of year. Appropriate exercises include gentle movement such as Tai Chi, Qigong or Yoga. “Yoga for Health” located in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons offers a wonderful variety of all of these!
Gratitude is the perfect remedy to uplift your spirit this holiday season.
1 cup Coconut or Almond milk.
1 1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
Pinch of Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Honey, Maple Syrup
Sweetened with a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to taste with a pinch of Black pepper which increases the absorption of the Turmeric.
Heat the oil in the sauce pan add the spices then whisk in the milk and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until hot. Do not boil. Drink and enjoy while hot.
Turmeric contains tons of nutrients, especially antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds plus it tastes just delicious! This warm golden milk highlights Turmeric’s bold earthy flavors perfectly mixed with a bit of sweetness. Enjoy this gluten & dairy-free beverage during the day as instead of caffeine or tea. Try a cup before bedtime as an alternative to a snack. Drinking this warm, soothing beverage will make drifting off to sleep easy on your mind and belly.
A quote to think about today…
“There are many misconceptions and ideas about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM.) From the type of needles to the methods used for treatments known as modalities. Acupuncture Fun Facts addresses just a few of these misconceptions and presents some other interesting but little know facts that attempt to show the validity and goodness inherent in the practice of acupuncture today.” ~Acupunture Fun Facts from Infographics Archives
• The United States FDA classified acupuncture needles as medical instruments and assured their safety and effectiveness.
• Acupuncture needles are single-use. sterilized and pre-packaged.
• Even though a needle is inserted into the skin, acupuncture is virtually painless.
• Acupuncture is highly individualized. For example, if 50 people with common colds all got acupuncture, all 50 people may have different acupuncture points and herbs in their treatment.
• In American hospital systems, the use of acupuncture ranks number 1 among all complementary and alternative medicines for which a license is required.
• Many medical doctors today are referring their clients with chronic pain or other difficult diseases to acupuncturists.
• Acupuncture is over 5,000 years old and is one of the oldest practicing forms of medicine known to date.
• When performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner, acupuncture is safe, effective, and free from negative side effects.
Info via goldentouchacupuncture.org / Feb, 5th, 2017
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