Winter at the Australian Shiatsu College

Following the final few blustery days of Autumn, we notice a stark shift in the weather as scarves, jackets and beanies come out of storage and the last dry, yellow leaves relinquish their grip from all but bare branches. Winter, the most Yin of all seasons, is upon us.

In essence, Winter is a time of stripping back and returning to the core of our true nature. Deciduous trees actually let go of their leaves at this time of year in order to focus their energy inward, conserving and storing essential nutrients. So to, in tune with the colder, shorter days, one may notice the inclination to let extraneous activities fall away in exchange for practices that nurture our inner landscape.

The element associated with Winter is water. With the capacity to rush like a roaring torrent, gently flow in lakes and streams or lay in a pond of perfect stillness, this, the most curious and adaptable of all elements is described by Lao Tzu as also the most powerful… “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.” One only need look at waters capacity to wear away and polish stone to realise that within this element exists aspects of great strength, will and determination. 

Paradoxically, the emotion attached to water is fear. Intrinsically connected with our survival instinct, in balance, fear is a valuable emotion aiding us to wisely assess risks and practice due care and discernment. Cultivating an awareness and trust in the natural and effortless wisdom of water within ourselves can aid one to know the appropriate timings of life, when to persist, when to yield, and when to go with the flow. 

The energy of the water element is expressed through the Kidney and Bladder meridians, which are considered storehouses of our most vital essences. Wintertime is a great opportunity to replenish these reserves through resting and partaking in deeply nourishing practices such as meditation, eating warm soups, and receiving Shiatsu treatments. 

Practitioners may consider supporting their clients by holding key points along these channels such as Kidney 25. Known as the ‘Spirit Storehouse’, this point harmonises the Kidneys, Lungs and Heart as well as promoting a sense of self and fulfillment. 

At the College, we have enjoyed seeing familiar faces revisiting us and reconnecting with each other during our monthly Postgraduate Supervision Workshops. Practitioners interested in further deepening their knowledge may wish to attend Stephen Birch’s July lectures on regulating Qi in the treatment of psychological and emotional problems. 

We look forward to welcoming new students to our Diploma and short courses in late July. To find out about study options for new and continuing students attend our Open day on June 23rd. 
Be sure to rug up with a scarf and protect your neck from a dreaded wind-cold invasion!

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