November 7, 2021
“Start of Winter”, or Lì Dōng (Chinese: 立冬), is the 19th solar term of the year, and the first of the 6 Winter Solar Terms, marking the beginning of the Winter season.
While the air temperature continues to drop, the heat stored in the surface of earth during the Summer and Autumn months continues to be released, resulting in an ambient temperature that is cold but not severe. It is not uncommon to experience both unseasonal heat as well as cold drafts during this time.
In traditional Chinese communities, Lì Dōng is a major festival, celebrating the bountiful autumn harvest, as well as embracing the start of the winter season. Today, Lì Dōng continues to be observed by Chinese families around the world, with family members coming together for a festive meal. Dumplings, of all styles and varieties, and mutton hot-pots are commonly served at Lì Dōng.
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Lì Dōng:
1. Health cultivation for this season continues to focus on an overall tonification of the body in preparation for winter. Warm and rich food cooked with herbs that nourishes the body is an effective way to achieve this goal.
2. If you have not visited your acupuncturist or TCM practitioner for a while, this would be a good time to schedule a ‘tune up’ maintenance visit to ensure that your health is optimized for the upcoming winter season.
3. Obtain as much sleep as possible. Longer sleep hours will help the body replenish and revitalize energetically.
4. Some dietary advice for the season:
- Minimize cold and raw (uncooked) food.
- Meat, fish, and other sources of protein are useful for nourishing the body this time of the year. Examples of protein-rich dishes include dumplings stuffed with ground chicken and chives, or a lamb/mutton stew with Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis), Astragalus and Jujube dates.
- At the same time, be mindful of excessive rich and heavy food; immoderate consumption will inevitably adversely affect your health.
- To achieve a nutritionally balance diet, do not forget your daily fruits and vegetable intake, and ensure adequate hydration.
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