Use Winter Qi To Boost Your Immunity

Wellness experts explain the importance of seasonal qi.

by Amy and Lance Isakov, Village Wellness

Acupuncturist, shamanic teacher, yoga and meditation teacher Lance David Isakov is founder of Village Wellness in Berwyn. Amy Mermaid Isakov is a shamanic teacher and energy medicine practitioner.

Our immunity is not dependent on any individual component, but rather a symphony of systems that work together to keep us strong and healthy. Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as many other original systems of medicine, carries Mother Nature’s wisdom and cues to our greatest cures.

Right now, we are deep into winter. If you go for a walk in the woods today, you’ll notice that nature is indeed very quiet. Animals are hibernating, most birds have flown south, and the trees have lost their leaves. The energy or qi has moved deep down into the roots and cores of plants and trees. There is no buzzing, fluttering, chirping, busyness and no business (if you know what we mean)… just a deep and cold quiet. 

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There is profound wisdom in the cycle of seasons. Nature rests and rejuvenates in winter, building a potential energy. Without this crucial time of rest and renewal, nature wouldn’t be able to EXPLODE into new life when the sun’s warmth returns in spring.

In our interesting times we can forget that we come from – and are an inseparable part of – nature. We ebb and flow in cycles of energy. Each day we have time to sleep and restore our energy, so that we can create new possibilities when we awake. We need that rest and rejuvenation just like our trees here in the Northeast need their winter. If you’ve ever had a stretch of time without sleep (yes, you), then you know full well how damaging it is to lose our rest.

Lance Isakov and Amy Mermaid Isakov, Village Wellness

What nature teaches and what we are here to remind you, is that although winter is often the busiest time of year for us culturally, we can instead take advantage of the gifts of winter’s restorational energy to stay balanced and in peak immune health. Following the example of nature, we will always find ourselves feeling better. Winter energy invites us to tend to our inner worlds in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities. 

On the physical level, to stay healthy and well we want to rest. We want to  eat nourishing and warming foods like root vegetables and grass-fed meats, plus herbs like ginger and cinnamon. Winter gives us a unique opportunity to deeply rest. It’s cold outside and the light is short. Allow your energies to recongregate inside. Build a fire, drink tea, tell stories. 

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On the mental level, we want to give ourselves a break. Be gentle with expectations of what we can produce in the winter. Perhaps set one goal, like knitting a sweater or writing a poem, but don’t push yourself to produce much of anything. Winter is for slow and thoughtful projects.

On the emotional level, we want to be aware of the dynamics of fear and courage in our lives. Are we living too much in fear? Are we being blindly courageous? Winter asks us to be fearless, but not foolish. The consequences of ignoring perils in winter are high, but when we are prepared, the beauty is boundless.

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On the spiritual level, we want to take time to tune in. Winter is a wonderful time to begin a meditation practice that cultivates stillness. There are many types of meditation, but winter asks us to be still. Invite nature to support you as you try a seated meditation practice. How do you invite nature? Say a prayer or make a wish… something to the tune of “great trees that surround me, lend me your wisdom of stillness in winter that I might know myself.”

All of these components will lower your stress, increase clarity, promote connection, and allow you to navigate our increasingly tumultuous world with depth and warmth, and in growing harmony with the world around us. 

For more information about holistic health, visit Village Wellness.

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