The Water Element: Foundations in the Darkness

Happy Almost Winter, Minnesnowta!

Any other season of the year and people give me the side-eye for an “early” season greeting. But in winter? Snow can fly as early as September! In fact, wasn’t it just last week we got our first flakes?

And even if the snowflakes weren’t falling yet, the world around us is settling into a winter rhythm. Everything becomes quiet and still. The leaves have fallen, the grass is hibernating, jars of pickled herring pop up in pantries across the state.

This spring, I broke the element of wood down in two blog posts – one about how things can be categorized as wood from a health perspective and another about how Chinese medicine looks at imbalances in the wood element. I did the same earlier this month for metal and metal disharmonies.

This blog post will be doing the same for this season’s element, the element of Water.

Understanding shen is critical to understanding how it helps treat pain, anxiety, depression, addiction and more. It's more than spirit - it's psychology.

Shen: Discovering Spirit in the Season of Stillness

Now that the quiet of winter has descended, many of us are finding ourselves contemplating life’s mysteries over a mug of tea. It’s only natural; winter is a time of rest and meditation. It’s the season to stare off into the middle distance and let the snowflakes fall out of focus as our mind takes us to far off fantasies or deep into our core.  In honor of this deeply spiritual time of the year, let’s dive into the concept of shen.

A patient’s spirituality is, frankly, none of my business. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the spiritual roots of Chinese medicine or address it more deeply than I have in the pastShen is a huge concept, and treating the shen is important for pain management, anxiety and depression, labor induction, fertility and more.

Understanding the concept of shen will help you understand why.

Understanding shen is critical to understanding how it helps treat pain, anxiety, depression, addiction and more. It's more than spirit - it's psychology.
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