Acupuncture, Tuina & Taiji in London

In this newsletter:

  • Winter: rest and retreat for the Kidneys
  • Qigong course at Breathe : starts Fri 9th Jan, 10-11am
  • January offer: recommend a friend and you both get £5 off your next acupuncture treatment 
  • Exercise: warm the kidneys

Winter: a time for stillness

“In winter all is hidden. Winter is the season of retirement into depth, because of the cold outside. At this time you must not disturb or disperse the yang (Fire, active) energy so that you can allow the yin reserves to be re-established within you.”
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

After decades of fighting through the inertia of the dark winter months, I am finally listening to millennia of Chinese medical knowledge by succumbing to a winter retreat to a quiet Swiss valley.

In our fast-paced, 24/7 culture, we often race through the quiet of winter and fail to nourish ourselves for the year ahead. 
Winter is the season of retreat and rest, when the Yin (night, female, cold) is now dominant and Yang (day, male, hot) energy moves inward. The trees have lost their leaves; the animals hibernate through the long, dark winter days. Winter is a time of stillness and quiet, amplifying any sound there is. The ability to listen clearly at this time of year is sharpest… not only listening through conversation, but listening to your own body and comprehending its needs, as well as having a deeper understanding of yourself and your interactions with others. 
Water element: Kidney
Winter is the season related to the water element and the organs associated are the Kidneys and Bladder, both of which are sensitive to cold. The Kidneys are considered to be the gate of life, storing our essence, regulating reproduction and development, fluid distribution and our longevity is directly related to the health of our Kidneys. The emotion associated with the Kidneys is fear. 

In our lives, the health of our Kidneys can be seen in our hair and experienced through the sense of our hearing. Hair loss, premature graying or split-ends all signal Kidneys that could do with a boost. Bone marrow is linked with the Kidneys as are problems with the knees, lower back and teeth. Many ear problems can be linked to the Kidneys and the health of our Kidneys directly impacts on reproduction and sex drive.

Imbalance in Water element

  • Lower back pain—chronic or acute
  • Knee pain and weakness
  • Problems with urinary retention
  • Fatigue and shortness of breath
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Sexual problems
  • Anxiety and excessive fear
  • High blood pressure and/or occipital headaches
  • Inflexibility and resistance to change

How to keep healthy and joyful in winter
Practice self-acceptance: fear freezes us so that we feel stuck and hopeless, but observing our fears without judging them can liberate us from the stagnation that fear sows. We need to learn the gentle art of “witnessing” to ourselves without judging ourselves. Rather than attempting to overcome our fears, we can learn to recognize and accept them. Self-awareness and self-acceptance burns and thaws our fears so that we become “unstuck” and can move on healthfully.

Listen and recharge: Listen to your body, and take time to replenish your reserves, which will be needed during the surges of spring. Winter is a time to recharge.This is a time of receiving, not doing. Be patient.

Keep a journal: As winter is a time to go within, your inner being comes closer to the surface in winter. Keep a journal and record your feelings, thoughts, and dreams: donʼt analyze them, just record them. Look at them again later and see if the images convey an inner message to you.

Nurture yourself inwardly: Imagine that the ideas and images that have been planted and are germinating within you. Nurture these images of hope, but allow them to grow and develop within you quietly and naturally, just as plants grow.

Nourish yourself: Eat warm food and drink lots of water; winter sucks the moisture out of your body. Foods that nourish and warm the Kidneys are: black beans, kidney beans, broths cooked with bones, lamb, chicken, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, dark leafy greens.

Keep warm: Prepare for the weather, and dress accordingly. Chinese medicine says that the neck and shoulder areas contain the “Wind” points through which pathogens can enter, so keep these areas protected; wear a scarf and keep your neck covered.

Qigong & Taiji at Breathe

Start the year with a 6-week course for energy, balance and mindfulness in Waterloo

from 9 Jan 2015 at 10-11am

Qigong & Taiji are precise, gentle exercises to enhance the flow of vital energy thereby relieving stagnant energy caused by a lack of activity and the cold weather. These practices help to support Kidney energy, relax the mind, calm the emotions and raise the spirit.

For more info click here

For information on other classes in North and SE London click here
January recommend a friend offer 

Recommend a friend and you both get £5 off your next acupuncture treatment

with Laura Ichajapanich MSc, MBAcC 
Breathe Waterloo SE1 8DP &
Belsize Health NW3 4TG


Why acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a safe practice without the side effects of conventional medicine. Conditions that respond well to acupuncture treatment include:

  • back pain
  • osteoarthritis
  • nausea
  • headaches (tension-type or migraine)
  • depression and anxiety
  • infertility (male and female)
  • urinary problems
  • neurological problems (Bell's palsy, MS, Parkinson's)

* only valid on full-cost treatments in January 2015. Quote movingqi15.

Health tip:
Kidney exercise

Shaking the body wards off all illnesses: the ultimate exercise in an ancient qigong set known as the Eight strands of the Brocade or Eight Treasures
  • Stand with the feel shoulder width apart
  • Bending at the elbows place the back of the fists on the kidneys
  • Bend the knees and bounce or shake the body expelling air through the mouth
  • Breathe in through the nose, stop the movement, straighten the legs
  • Breathe out, repeat shaking 
  • Relax the shoulders and when shaking the fists make small circling movements to warm the Kidneys
Caution: Do not practice this exercise when pregnant
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