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Winter Wellness

Following the rhythmic & intuitive cycles of Nature, the Chinese calendar has 24 Seasonal Periods. In this ancient system, November 22 is known as Minor Snow Xiǎo Xuě 小雪

Minor Snow or Xiǎo Xuě (Chinese: 小雪) is the 20th of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the second term of winter. Each solar term is divided into three pentads consisting of 5 (rarely 6) days, and describe the change of seasons in terms of Qi. The pentads for Minor Snow are (1) Rainbows are hidden from view (虹藏不見), (2) The Qi of the sky ascends, the Qi of the earth descends (天氣上騰地氣下降), and (3) Closure and stasis create winter (閉塞而成冬).

Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Minor Snow (Xiǎo Xuě):

Nourish the kidneys and protect Yang Qi. The ancient Chinese believed that we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment. During these winter months kidney Qi can easily become depleted. Cold harms the kidneys. Be sure to get enough rest, conserve your energy, and stay warm. Also, be mindful of burning up energy foolishly in resentment or anxiety. Xiǎo Xuě can be a good time for reflection and meditation.

As the temperature decreases, we begin to use the heater more and more. That dry air can affect the mouth and nose. For many, the inner heat energy can’t get out. Symptoms of this include sinus trouble, pimples, and nosebleeds. A common remedy is hot soup, perhaps with spinach, cabbage, radish or tofu, but steer clear of overly spicy foods as they can create an imbalance of inner heat. Ginger is a great food during Xiǎo Xuě, as it warms and protects the Yang, and aids in the circulation of blood and Qi internally. Try starting each day with a small amount of fresh ginger every morning just before breakfast, or a cup of Ginger Tea.