Minor Snow or Xiǎo Xuě (Chinese: 小雪) is the 20th of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the second term of winter. Each solar term is divided into three pentads consisting of 5 (rarely 6) days, and are named for the corresponding phenomena during that time of year. The pentads for Minor Snow are (1) Rainbows are concealed from view (虹藏不見), (2) The Qi of the sky ascends, the Qi of the earth descends (天氣上騰地氣下降), and (3) Closure and stasis create winter (閉塞而成冬).
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Minor Snow (Xiǎo Xuě):
1. During this time of year, indoor heating becomes more common, and that dry air can affect the mouth and nose. For many, the inner heat energy can’t get out. Symptoms can include sinus trouble, pimples, and nosebleeds. A common remedy is hot soup, perhaps with spinach, cabbage, radish or tofu. Steer clear of overly spicy foods as they can enhance inner heat.
2. The ancient Chinese believed that we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment. During these winter months kidney Qi can easily become depleted. It is important now to nourish the kidneys and protect Yang Qi. Get plenty of rest and conserve your energy. This can be an ideal time for reflection and meditation. Now more than ever it is wise to minimize the emotions of fear and anxiety which may be heightened this month.
3. Ginger is a great food for this time of year, as it warms and protects the Yang, and circulates the blood and Qi internally. Try starting each day with a small amount of fresh ginger every morning just before breakfast, or a cup of Ginger Tea.
4. Blood and Qi stagnation are the dangers of this time of year. Get out and be active with lots of movement during the day. Regular exercise can combat the pain and stiffness that arises during this cold and damp time of year.
5. Consider getting some acupuncture on point Guan Yuan REN-4, or maybe an herbal formula like Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan to nourish the kidneys and protect against the cold.
For more information on seasonal health cultivation, schedule an appointment with one of our student interns or licensed practitioners at the Yo San University Blount Community Clinic. Tele-health consultations are also offered by our experienced senior practitioners. Call today. 310.577.3006.