Absolute Sanctuary | The Fitness Wellness Resort

Winter Wellness: A TCM approach

The leaves have turned, the air significantly cooler and freezing temperatures are setting in. Darkness creeps on us earlier and our moods take abit of a turn as we move into hibernation mode. The season of Winter has descended us.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)theory, Winter is Yin by nature, it is a time for consolidating, stillness and retreating within. It is easy for our vitality to be depleted and therefore a time to slow down and conserve our energy.

TCM depicts that there are 5 natural elements that exist within us and in nature and each season belongs to a particular element. Understanding how the five elements work with nature can provide us with a way to keep well during the winter months.


Winter characteristics

Element: Water

Climate: Cold

Yin Organs: Kidneys

Yang Organs: Urinary Bladder

Associations: Quiet, Cool, Floating, Stillness, Hibernation, Communication

Yin or Yang: Yin

Colour: Black/Dark Blue

Flavour: Salt

Emotions: Fear

Sense Organs: Ears

Tissue: Bones

Movement: Downwards


Winter is associated with the water element, the most nourishing element of life. Water stores people’s reserves of energy hence rest is crucial in winter. Overworking and lack of sleep will easily deplete the water element. The emotion associated with water is fear. In appropriate amounts it is essential for survival however when out of balance one might experience excess fears and phobias.

The kidney and urinary bladders are organs that belong to the water element. Kidneys are the storehouse of our vital energy or “Jing” which governs our growth, reproduction and how we move through the cycles of life. Our bones, joints, teeth and ears are all influenced by the kidneys. The kidney also provides us with will power to accomplish all that we need to in life. When our kidney reserves are depleted, we get lower back pain, weak knees, frequent urination and menstruation or fertility issues. We feel exhausted, low in motivation, anxiety and have excessive fear.

The urinary bladder is a reservoir where the waters of the body collect. It has the longest acupuncture meridian point beginning from the eyes travelling over the head to the back of the neck, down our spine, to the backs of our knees, right to our ankles, ending at the little toe. Imbalance causes back pain, bladder pain, vertigo, headaches and emotionally relates to holding on to grudges and jealousy in addition to fear.


Winter therefore is a time to nourish our kidneys and urinary bladder. We need to slow down, get plenty of rest, eat well, drink lots of fluids and adopt a wellness routine to support our kidneys and urinary bladder. Here are 3 things you can do :

1. Nourish

Consume foods that correlate to the water element that strengthen your kidneys and bladder, which means dark coloured foods that are salty, hydrating and nourishing i.e. aubergine, black grapes, black beans, seaweed, bone broths, hearty vegetable soups , seafood, tofu, walnuts. Eat food that are warm and cooked and add some warming spices like ginger and garlic.

2. Care

Take care of your kidney and urinary bladder acupuncture meridians which cover the feet, knees, lower back and neck. Keep these areas warm at all times, this will keep you well throughout the winter, support your immunity and overcome emotional imbalances.

3. Reconnect

This is a time of reconnecting within , discovering yourself through reflection via meditation, yoga, journaling or breathwork. These activities can also help alleviate fear and depression.


During this yin season, there is an energetic predisposition to retract as our Qi flows more deeply inside us, inviting us to connect with the core of our being and untouched emotions. It is a time to pause and work on ourselves. Perhaps it is a time to escape to Absolute Sanctuary where you can do some soul whilst immersed in one of our wellness programs like a yoga holiday, rest and rebalance  or mindfulness program, and indulge in some hearty nourishing broth at The Love Kitchen . We’ve made it easier for you with our Welcome Back Promotion.

We uses cookies to enhance your experience. Click 'Accept' to accept all cookies or 'Settings' to set your consent. View our Privacy Policy here.

Cookie Consent Preferences

Cookies are little bits of textual information which are used by the website to enhance user experience. Accept all cookies or choose which categories you want to allow.

Accept All
Manage Consent Preferences
  • Mandatory Cookies
    Always Active

    These are necessary for the basic functioning of the website and for its correct performance.

  • Analytics Cookies / Advertising and Social Media Cookies

    Analytics Cookies
    These enable use of the website to be measured, in order to ensure its proper performance and to improve its functioning.

    Advertising and Social Media Cookies
    These are used to display and measure ads which are relevant to our users, as well as enabling interaction with social media. Data may be shared with companies outside of Absolute Sanctuary Koh Samui.
    Cookies Details

Save My Preferences