On the day of the winter solstice, the sun almost hits the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the day the northern hemisphere has the shortest day and the longest night. Astronomy stipulates that this day is the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. After the winter solstice, the direct sunlight position gradually moves northward, and the daylight in the northern hemisphere gradually increases.
The winter solstice time for the northern hemisphere for the year 2020 was 17:55, Dec 21, 2020.
If someone intends to discuss the homology of Eastern and Western cultures, this may be another supporting viewpoint: No matter how the lunar calendar of China is different from the solar calendar, no matter how the intercalary months of the lunar calendar alternately change, the winter solstice of the 24 solar terms is always around December 21-22, which is of hourly difference because of the earth’s rotation angle year to year. This is about the Chinese Yin and Yang calendar’s long and complicated history that the New Year began on the winter solstice day in the Xia Dynasty, 21th century BC – 16th century BC.
Why did ancestors use this day as the first day of a new year?
Because it is the day Mother Earth starts to emit her thermal energy outward from her core in a year. Before this day, she was absorbing and restoring her energy. It is the day Mother Earth’s body starts to get warmer and warmer from internal to external. It means before this day, Mother Earth is completely in a Kun energy status. Starting this day, her Yang Qi starts to rise inside although her surface is entering the coldest days. It is also the day plants are completely restoring energy back into their roots; animals are in their complete deep hibernating sleep in their dens, birds are in the south…
The figure above also shows how “Yi Jing” Six-Yao Hexagrams explain this energy change. Out of the cold body, Yang Qi is arising from the bottom.
How about the Yang Qi in human body?
Noticing or most probably not noticing, starting this day, the human body Yang Qi energy automatically rises inside, just as what is happening in their Mother Earth’s body. Like mother, like son.
How important is this Yang energy? It is the most important energy in the human body for self-heal. It is invisible, but it is originated from the universe, from the sun.
Where does it rise from in the human body? It arises from the deep northern ocean in the body’s abdominal area.
Where does it rise to? Normally it rises up alongside the back spine… It can be conducted to the places wherever the body needs it.
It is the best time to use this Yang energy to replenish the Yin energy, because there is Yang in Yin and there is Yin in Yang.
Remember when Mother Earth’s northern hemisphere starts her Yang energy to rise outward, her southern hemisphere is starting to absorb and restore the thermal energy inside, meaning Yin energy arises over there. Only through that Yin replenishment should the Yang rise in the northern hemisphere. Suppose both hemispheres emit the core energy at the same time, losing a balanced energy pattern over time, it could be dangerous for Mother Earth.
On the human body, although it is time for Yang Qi to rise automatically, it must have a healthy Kan to support this Yang’s rising up. The body needs a healthy water system to support Yang Qi’s rising from its deep sea.
This leads us to the topics on the kidney. Generally, from the perspective of modern medicine, the kidneys excrete metabolites and regulate the endocrine. However, the kidney in TCM’s point of view is not simply this single organ, the left kidney and the right kidney, but also includes the water, blood, salt metabolic systems they control, as well as the endocrine function and hormones they generate.
In Chinese medicine’s eyes, the kidney is:
- The innate root and driving force of life
- The innate foundation of the human body
- It plays a vital role in warming, moisturizing, nourishing, and stimulating the internal organs
- Kidney deficiency will weaken vitality, and various diseases will follow
- The treatment of many visceral diseases should start with the kidney
Here follows some detailed information:
- The kidney is the main switch of the human body’s water and fluid. If the function of the kidney is weakened, symptoms such as edema, or excessive nocturia, enuresis, urinary incontinence, or oliguria, or urinary obstruction may occur.
- Kidney deficiency leads to empty bone marrow. Empty bone marrow leads to soft bones. Soft bones lead to numbness of the waist and knees, tooth loss, bone hyperplasia, intervertebral disc herniation, arthritis, cervical neuralgia, and even dizziness, tinnitus, forgetfulness, slow response, wrinkles, loss of energy, and loss of hair.
- The life activities of the human body cannot do without breathing. According to common senses, breathing is done through the lungs, but is it only through the lungs? In fact, in breathing activities, the kidney also plays a vital role, “the lung is the master of Qi, and the kidney is the root of Qi”. If the essence and Qi in the kidneys are insufficient, there will be no depth of breathing and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, shortness of breathing, or breathlessness will occur.
- The essence of the kidney is closely related to human reproductive function. Entering puberty, the essence and Qi in the kidney are filled to a certain extent, and the fine substances that promote and maintain reproductive functions are produced to promote the development of puberty. With the deficiency of kidney Yang Qi, it manifests as impotence, premature ejaculation, and nocturnal emission in men; women suffer from irregular menstruation, dysmenorrheal, infertility, etc.
It would be easy for us to understand these descriptive words now concerning its importance in stimulating the life Yang energy. Kidney, to some degree, represents the deep see in the north abdomen Kan, which innately has the Yang in its middle to nourish all the organs and the whole body.
The “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” says that the “Kidney corresponds to winter Qi”. The focus of health preservation in winter is to focus on nourishing the kidney.
Chinese medicine believes that black food has the effect of nourishing the essence of the kidney. Eating more black food can firstly enhance physical fitness, secondly prevent disease, and thirdly delay aging, so eating black food is recommended. “Black five categories” of five foods includes black rice, black beans, black sesame seeds, black dates, and walnuts.
Starting from the basic theory of “life lies in exercise”, nourishing the kidney and correcting deficiency through exercise is a positive measure worth promoting.
The ear is the organ that the kidney expresses in the five senses. The ear diseases are all related to the kidney. There is a saying in the “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” that people with kidney disease have symptoms of deafness and tinnitus. Why is aging people‘s hearing getting weaker? Because they are having weakening kidneys, they are having weakening water energy and fluid-related functionalities. As a result, they are having less Yang energy.
As part of the north of the body, the human reproductive system has a very close relationship with the kidney. This reproductive system is the true deep sea for the Yang Qi energy. When Yang Qi is getting stronger, human reproductive capacity gets flourished. The adequate Yang energy of young adults can be reflected in their vigorous sexual abilities.
How important it is to allocate the amount of Yang energy from the fountain of the vitality of human life! How much is allocated to the heart and brain? How much is allocated to the health? How much is allocated for the leisure life? How much is allocated to personal lust? And how much is allocated for the reproduction of a healthy and excellent new generation? What the new generation can inherit is the mind, the thoughts, the wisdom and the health.
The fluid of the kidneys is the thicker part of saliva. In addition to moisturizing and dissolving food, making it easy to swallow, and cleaning and protecting the mouth, the thicker part of saliva also nourishes the kidney essence, because it is transformed by the kidney essence. It is part of the most essential water that our life fire is boiling. The golden water comes out from the middle of the Li. Qi Gong and Yoga practitioners often emphasize swallowing body saliva to nourish kidney essence, to nourish the whole body.
Panic is a person’s emergency response to sudden external stimuli. When people are frightened, urinary incontinence might occur. Because of panic, the physiological functions of the kidney produce urine, and various water-soluble substances that need to be eliminated are eliminated from the urine.
“Thinking over fear”: In a panic state, there will be spasms, uneven breathing or deepening and speeding up, blood pressure rising, and heart rate speeding up. When people are thinking, they can reduce gastric blood flow and inhibit gastric acid secretion. This is a natural reason why people will try to calm themselves down when they are in panic if they have a good sense of self-control and a wise mind. With knowledge on how their water energy works and how panic damages their kidney functions, they can gather more self-control when they encounter shocking situations.
Here it is talking about winter and kidney, how about spring, summer, and autumn? How about the other important organs? How does the human water and life energy work through all the seasons for human health? What do all these have to do with the human mind and spirits?