Well, think about it. How many times do we hear that the people who live the longest come from places like Siberia, Georgia (near Russia) and Northern Europe? There is no denying that a cold temperature preserves, and scientific studies have shown that animals live longer in a colder climate than a warmer one. While we can’t sit in a refrigerator for days at a time, we can allow our own body temperature to be more in harmony with that of our natural surroundings. Now that doesn’t mean going outside on a cool autumn day dressed in thin, cotton summer clothing – in fact, wearing a scarf to protect the back of the neck from the cold elements is recommended in TCM to ward off colds and flu. However, it is possible to become more yin in qi, like fall and winter, by slowing down the speed of our cell metabolism to reduce aging. Not only can we cook our foods more slowly at lower temperatures, but we can also sleep at a lower temperature.
Body temperature varies during the day and night. It starts to drop between 9 and 11 pm reaching its lowest point between 1 and 3 am. At 8 am it begins to rise and is at its peak between 7 and 9 pm. Health is preserved, therefore, by being asleep during the night and particularly so by going to bed before 11 pm. In addition, sleeping in a dark room without lights on will help nourish yin energy. Keeping overhead lights to a minimum and using lamps in the evening will not only help maintain a cooler body temperature but also save on electricity.
Exercising slowly (tai chi, yoga, pilates, etc) and taking slow walks in nature are a good way to absorb yin energy and preserve health at this time of year. So stroll, don’t run through the next few months till Spring!
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