Winter’s Slowdown: East Asian Medicine, ‘10,000 Things’ Wisdom

winter slowdown and east asian medicine

In East Asian medicine we used the phrase “10000 things”  in reference to all of the living creatures.  This phrase also includes an acknowledgment of the diversity of beings and spirits.  We are not all the same, but we are all a part of nature. 

 As we descend into winter, the natural energy is to slow down so that we may recuperate during the dark yin months.  Living in the modern Western world, we are not always afforded the luxury of rest, but we can make space to be restful.  

My daughter has a pet bearded dragon. This species of reptile does something called brumation.  They do not completely hibernate, they greatly slow down in eating, moving, doing, but not sleeping of course. 😉 Even though her tank has UV and heat lamps on timers, she somehow knows it is winter and is brumating.  Considering the 10,000 things…..  I went for a gentle hike the other day and those squirrels are zipping around the forest collecting their last bits before they hunker down.  They are certainly not slowing down, but they will when they are ready.  Considering the 10,000 things…..  We all have our own natural pace, and during the winter, it is ok to allow that pace to slow down.  This is the night of the year when we have an opportunity to regain our strength and build our reserves so that when spring arrives, we can shoot up from the soil with flexibility and abundance.