Water in the Winter

Looking out on the snow falling through the mid-winter chill: this is the Water season.

Just as with Fall, each of the five phase types will respond differently to the Water season.  Let’s begin the discussion with Water types, as this is their season.

Water types are resourceful, imaginative, creative and deep.  Often introverted, Water types enjoy mystery and enigma, but also possess a strong drive to delve for the truth at all costs.  Like a river cutting through rock or waves washing the shore, Water is persistent and self-reliant.  Of course, this phase, like the others, has its own share of challenges, and for a Water-phase person Winter’s strong Water energy can help or hinder the quest for balance.

You may already have guessed that for the depleted Water type, Winter is a strengthening, renewing time.  If you fall into this category, this season brings cherished quite, reflective moments; stillness and solitude that can help replenish your overstretched resources and inspire your creative side.  While other parts of your constitution may determine whether the cold itself offers comfort, the post-holiday lull of mid-winter is surely a time of rest and renewal.

If this describes you, then enjoy this time and don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of societal expectations that you never take a break or withdraw to take care of yourself.  Just be sure you take appropriate time so that you will be ready to resume a more active life as the weather warms in the Spring.

The other side of the coin is, of course, overabundant Water.  For this type, Winter can pose some serious challenges.  Water’s energetic nature is cold, hard and hidden, like an iced-over pond or river.  There’s still life below the surface, but it’s difficult to recognize or know.  Overabundant Water types may already have difficulty connecting with others or trusting them, and when Winter chases most people indoors, it’s even easier to avoid contact.  The weather itself may aggravate the joint pain, cold and poor circulation overabundant Water types struggle with, and these in turn can accentuate a personality or outlook that tends toward the dark or morose.

In order to balance these hardened, darker tendencies, overabundant Water types can look to their controlling and controlled phases: Earth and Fire.  Earth, with its sense of abundance and caring, can break through some of the colder tendencies of personality that may come out in a Water person during the winter.  Fire can help physically warm, of course, but it also helps bring the joy and sense of connection that will allow the Water person to utilize all the potential, creativity and resources he possesses.

Schedule time with family and friends of these two types.  Eat warm, comforting meals that remind you of good times.  Make time to stretch every day, as this will improve circulation and counteract the tendency of Water to freeze, both literally and figuratively.  And above all, be sure to spend time with people and activities that make you laugh for joy (laughing from irony or sarcasm does not have the same effect in this case) and feel a sense of connection and belonging.

These suggestions may sound simple, but they can make a surprising impact.

Till next week, enjoy!

Posted in Chinese Medicine, Five Phase Theory.