The Medicine of Winter
Shifting our relationship to winter rather than resisting it, can be extremely helpful in how we feel during the winter season. Trees, leafless and bare, are not dead during winter months; they are quietly gathering nourishment from the earth – preparing for the spectacular show of spring and summer. But for now they need to be more inwardly focussed, to resorb, rest and re-align. The trees do not fight against winter by trying to hang on to their leaves. They surrender control and trust the wisdom of nature.
In naturopathic medicine the phrase “Vis Medicatrix Naturae” is latin for the Healing Power of Nature. This translates to trusting, respecting, and ultimately surrendering to a power much larger than ourselves – an innate wisdom, a vital force. All life forms have this innate wisdom; knowing how to heal and how to adapt when their environment changes. So, in the colder months with shorter days we may notice a desire to slow our pace, stay at home more, and be less engaged in the outside world. Trust this desire for it is the gentle prodding of the vis medicatrix naturea within you, and it is guiding you to align with all the other non-human life forms in your environment.
This winter give yourself permission to align with what naturally surrounds you. Resist the urge to judge yourself for wanting to be quieter inside and less engaged in the outer world. See your whole being (mind, body and spirit) just like the trees in winter; still, grounded and evolving. Chances are you will be pleasantly surprised at how nourishing winter can be for your soul – it is another form of medicine.
Alexia Georgousis ND, BPE
January 2, 2018