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Natural Awakenings New York City

Living in Harmony with the Seasons: Winter

acupunctureAs I sit at my desk this evening, writing to all of you Natural Awakenings readers, my ability to ignore Winter’s steady approach is diminishing. There’s frost creeping along the windowpane and the constellation Orion just rose over the horizon. The rhythm of the seasons may continue to march on, but that doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to have favorite seasons. Winter is the season of stillness and moving inward. It’s about going deep within ourselves to reconnect with our resources and identity.

We lead busy lives. Luckily, nature has built a period of the year when the days are short, gently suggesting we go to bed early and rest indoors to avoid the cold. This is a season of conservation. Try to connect to the idea of the season as we see it in nature - everything is quiet and still, waiting for rebirth under the warm rays of the sun in Spring.

December 21st marks the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the day each year when daylight is at its shortest. From then on, the hours the sun lights the sky increase. Winter turns to Spring, and soon we reach the long days of Summer until the Summer Solstice marks the decline of daylight again. I take solace in knowing that once we mark the solstice, we’re solidly on our way back into the warmer months.

In the meantime, we need to guard ourselves against the ailments of the season. In Winter, Jinhee and I see a lot more back pain and joint pain of all sorts than we do during the rest of the year. Acupuncture is known for its great ability to treat pain, but it’s also fantastic for treating sniffles, sinus congestion, colds and flus.

So over the next few weeks, take some time to embrace Winter. Find time for naps and go to bed early. Meditate quietly. Wear wool socks and a scarf. Cuddle up in a sweater. Enjoy warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Eat warm and nourishing foods, like root vegetables, black sesame seeds, lamb, and soups, stews and bone broths.

Prepare your body for the bursting energy of Spring by recharging your body’s batteries in Winter. The good you do for your body now will show all year long. But if you’re suffering with aches and pains or you’re feeling under the weather, no need to wait out the Winter. Give us call. We can help.

SteinDylan Stein Acupuncture is a midtown Manhattan acupuncture clinic, offering both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Find out more at or by calling 212-863-9223.