As we move into winter, what changes do we notice in our environment? Do these changes affect us? Do we change in concert with the rhythms of nature? Should we?
The Winter season brings cooler weather. Cold causes constriction and the moving of energy and matter to go down and inward, while heat causes movement up and outward. In the environment around us we see leaves change color and fall off trees and the energy of them goes inward and down into the roots to conserve. Animals slow down or sleep all winter long. And we see similar changes within our own bodies. The cold constricts our blood vessels bringing warmth inward to our core.
What is all of this inward talk and why do we care?
Our bodies are changed by this inward movement created by cold weather. We see an increase in dry skin because our natural oils and blood move inward. Our digestive fire is stronger and our appetite increases. Our energy feels slower, maybe more still, restful or withdrawn. The depth to which we could explore this inward moving energy in the winter is outside the realms of this piece, but absolutely one to explore with more time and reflection.
With awareness of how the changing seasons affect our bodies, we can restore balance, increase our vitality and decrease or avoid symptoms that seem to arise or become exacerbated during the winter months such as constipation, aches and pains, arthritis, asthma, decreased circulation (cold hands and feet) and increases in skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, dry skin and many more. We can do this by changing our movements and our breath, and practicing self-care to balance the rhythms of our external environment with our internal environment.
Depending on your own unique balance within, the changing of seasons may aggravate or pacify your sense of well-being. Each person should approach these recommendations individually in order to find the balance that best suits your internal environmental needs.
When we are connected to our environment and live within the rhythms of nature we bring balance to our body, mind and spirit.
Like creates like and opposites balance. Only by understanding one’s internal environment can this balance be restored. Each person’s internal environment/constitution is unique and should always guide treatment. If you are unclear about your constitution see a healthcare professional for support and guidance in discovering how to nourish and sustain inner balance.
About the Author: Dr. Fareen Koorjee is a Naturopathic Doctor who recently joined Pasadena Natural Family Health Center. She looks forward to seeing your faces, hearing your stories, and being a part of your healing.
Naturopathic medicine allows people to maximize health, minimize reliance on prescription drugs, and take active steps toward longer, healthier lives.