Water Is the Chinese Element of Winter

March 2, 2015 Updated: March 2, 2015

As many of you already know, in TCM, different elements are connected to each season. Water is the element of winter. And, as we in Chicago know very well – winter is here! Winter is the season of stillness and rest (think hibernation), during which energy is condensed, conserved, and stored. Similarly, water is a highly concentrated element that contains great potential power awaiting release.

Some fast facts about the Chinese element of water.

* Water is yin in character, its energy is downward.
* Water is associated with the planet Mercury, the moon, the north, and cold, darkness, night and the color black.
* In Chinese Medicine, the element of Water governs the kidneys, ears and bones.
* The negative emotion associated with Water is fear.
* The positive emotion is calmness.
* Water energy is depleted by the ‘heat’ of stress and excess emotions.
* The way to conserve the potential energy of Water is to stay still and be calm.

The lake Kidney (Shutterstock)

In Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy. However, an over-abundance of the element can cause difficulty in choosing a direction and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land.

To read about a healthy winter diet click here

To read more about Winter and the water element click here

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.

*Image of “spring is coming” via Shutterstock