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Water, Your Spirit, and You

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Winter is the season of the Water Element. At this time of the year, it is interesting to reflect upon this question: What qualities does Water give to you?

In colder climates north of Florida, winter is the time of year when certain animals hibernate. Even in our modern age, when it’s cold outside we kind of hibernate. This may not be as obvious on a warm Florida winter day, but up north, people stay indoors more because of the cold winter weather. These natural behaviors give us clues about the inward direction of the Water Element, meant to direct our focus within ourselves.

In nature, a still body of water has a calming effect on us. Sitting beside a clear pond can bring us into a meditative or thoughtful state. Water fills deep lakes and seas. Water flows from the ocean’s surface to the deepest depths. Beyond our mind and emotions, our spirit dwells deep within us.

The power of Water to reach our deepest selves gives us direct access to our spirit. Our Water Element helps us pray and meditate more deeply. Getting to these depths makes us better able to connect deeply with the people in our lives. In this way, a healthy Water Element greatly enriches our relationships.

In Chinese medicine, the Water Element contains the Kidneys and Bladder meridians. The first point on the Bladder meridian is known as “Eyes Bright”. The eyes are said to be the windows of the Soul, and the brightness that shines forth from one’s eyes indicates the state of a person’s shen (the Chinese word for spirit). Treating Bladder 1, “Eyes Bright”, can increase the shen and brighten a person’s spirit.

Water is not all about brightness and light. The deeper one explores underwater, darker places are reached. I enjoy scuba diving in the open ocean water. The deeper I dive, the dimmer the light becomes. I’ve reached some depths where it was almost completely dark. More experienced divers can dive even deeper into the darkness of the ocean. Similarly, our Water Element allows us to access the deep dark places within ourselves. Going into dark places within can be scary at first, but bringing light, understanding, and clarity to these dark places can be liberating.

The emotion associated with the Water Element is fear. It is natural to have appropriate fear, such as a fear of burning your hand if you put it on a hot stove. However, when Water is out of balance, we can experience an excess of fear. Sometimes this shows up as a fear of the unknown. Past fearful experiences can lead us to avoid or shy away from doing what our heart desires. We may be afraid of reaching those dark places within ourselves. These fears can limit or even block our potential — our full expression of who we truly are.

Energy blocks in our Water Element can cause an excess of fear within us. Removing these blocks with Five Element acupuncture can clear our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. I find that very seldom does a physical problem result solely from a physical cause. Most of the time, physical issues arise from a deeper inner imbalance. The good news is that, by balancing the deeper energies with Five Element acupuncture, the physical issues can clear. Not for a day or a week, but for all time. This approach works much better in the long run than the “band-aid” approach of just treating physical symptoms.

If Water energy is not flowing through our Kidneys and Bladder meridians, our Water Element can become depleted. This is commonly reflected in the Water pulses of many of my patients. Imagine the fear of running out of water, this life-sustaining element, if you were in a severe and prolonged drought. Being deprived of water for too long brings weakness and eventual death. The Water Element is vital to our life and well-being. Five Element acupuncture treatments can boost a deficient Water Element back into balance.

There are three distinct states of water – ice, liquid, and vapor. But it’s all water, all the same H2O. People also express many different states of being throughout their lives. We all have the spirit within us, whether or not we are aware of it. Sometimes our Water becomes cloudy, even muddy. When we balance our Water Element, we bring clarity and quality to this vital Element and our lives.

When Water is abundant and flowing, we feel reassured, calm, and energized. Water gives us willpower and endurance. There is no better season to balance your Water Element than during the Winter season. If you haven’t done so yet this winter, schedule your Water tune-up treatment by calling the Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center at (904) 296-9545.

By Michael Kowalski A.P., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Physician @ Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center, Jacksonville, FL

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