Winter Solstice Greetings 2016

by Rick DeTroye, LAc, MAcOM

Winter Solstice Greetings 2016,

It seems we made it through our annual Winter storms relatively unscathed, the longest night is here, and we're on our way to welcoming longer and warmer days. I'm sure many of you are rejoicing!

I greet Winter Solstice with a mixture of emotions: A little sadness, a deep love for Winter, the excitement of celebrating holidays with friends, a longing to turn inward. Chinese medicine relates Winter to the Kidney and Kidney to Water. Winter's opposite, Summer, relates to the Heart and Heart to Fire. Where summer and Fire are all about activity, Winter and Water correlate to stillness.

Stillness is what I most appreciate about Winter: It's capacity to quiet us, to provide space for reflection, and to restore us. It's a time to slow down, rest, and allow ourselves to prepare for the activity that bursts out in Spring and flourishes in Summer. This is Nature's pattern, one which stressful modern lifestyles tend to overlook and ignore.

I encourage everyone to take the opportunity this Winter to provide times to slow down and rest. That might mean sleeping longer, going on gentle walks, spending time outside (even if it's raining!), taking an afternoon nap, meditating, doing yoga, qigong or tai chi, turning off your phone more often (especially during acupuncture!), and daily vacations from news and social media. Take time to be with yourself in any way that promotes inward calm and quiet stillness. As I stated in my post-election note: Do whatever brings you the greatest good. You will know what that is when you do it.

Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone for the many good things you bring to me and my practice. 2016 has been a great year and I couldn't have done it without your continuing trust and support. Many of you have sent referrals my way and I'm very grateful. Thank you all so much.

Have a Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happiest of New Years!