Staying Healthy With the Seasons

by Carl Johns, LMT, Mountain Medicine Integrative Wellness Center

The holidays are upon us, and we are fast approaching the solstice — the season of winter. Nature brings us more darkness with shorter, colder days and she encourages us to draw inward, to contemplate and to use that darkness in order to see.

In the wisdom of Chinese philosophy, the winter, the water element, is associated with the will and determination to manifest our future. This is a time to draw inward, slow down, do less, rest more and build our reserves for the activities of spring and summer.

From that quiet space, to see more clearly the activities that will support our journey through the seasons and into our future.

If this sounds a bit too serious, we can certainly balance this time of rejuvenation during the cold, dark winter with the warmth of family and friends, with gathering and celebration, and reunion. We can trust our bodies to weather the excesses of a few holiday meals and appreciate the joy that these things bring to us every year.

We also can continue to appreciate and participate in the activities that support our wellness — meditation, movement, creativity, relationship — and as always, from a massage therapist’s perspective, receiving bodywork will support all of these things.

My suggestion is to try pairing the style of massage and bodywork you receive to the season of winter. This would be a good time to try something more wintery, more inward focused, something slower and more restorative. Acupressure and craniosacral therapy are beautiful modalities to offer just this kind of inward journey toward relaxation, clarity and insight.

As our old friend Mr. Jung suggested, we may be able to use this deep, watery, internal space to begin to see, to illuminate our journey into health, wellness, prosperity and the bright future that awaits us.