Pediatric Care

Herbal Medicine

Winterize Your Earth Qi

I always love to share the wisdom of Master Liu He. I am already pretty good about doing #1-4 (some more so than others), but I am hoping to carve out the time to try the warm sea salt on the abdomen this fall. Last fall, I took Master Liu He’s advice and soaked my feet in hot water with leeks before bed and I found that it was much easier for me to fall asleep because my feet weren’t cold.

The earth qi is related to our spleen and stomach. Beginning with Winter, the weather gets cooler and the cold Qi increases our gastric acids and gastrointestinal contractions, making digestion challenging. Meanwhile, with cold weather our appetite increases and we want to eat more. All this taxes our spleen and stomach system. In Chinese medicine our abdomen is considered our second brain, as digestion slows down our thinking becomes blocked. This increases our negative emotions, especially anxiety, depression, fear, and worry.

How do we winterize our Earth Qi?

1. Think less and slow down your daily activities/lifestyle.

2. Eat warm and cooked foods, especially high fiber whole grains. Avoid cold and raw foods. Eat a little honey each day to enhance digestion.

3. Go to bed early and get up late.

4. Take in winter sun often.

5. Take a 30-45 minute walk per day in nature.

6. Heat sea salt until warm and wrap into cotton fabric. Place the fabric on your navel until it cools down.

7. For Qigong practice, stand with feet parallel to your shoulders. With both feet, grasp the earth several times throughout the day. This movement opens all of the jing-well points, for promoting the spleen/stomach function.

A smooth spleen/stomach function can preserve kidney yang for the upcoming deep winter.