Author: Gabrielle Stratton, L.Ac
Editors: Kate Downes & Yvette Ly
Graphic: Jackie Kim
As we get closer to Lunar New Year, we wanted to share ways to support unique body constitutions for the year of the Yin Water Rabbit.
What is a body constitution?
TCM body constitution 体质 includes “the characteristics of an individual, including structural and functional characteristics, temperament, adaptability to environmental changes and susceptibility to disease. It is relatively stable, being in part genetically determined and in part acquired.”
How one feels on a daily basis, as well as how our body responds to imbalances or illness, depends on our body’s constitution(s).
The Lunar New Year brings in fresh expansive energy, which is perfect for building up powerful Qi. The Qi Deficient Body Constitution can benefit from the balanced nature of the year with proper nutrition, herbs and mindful movement.
Characteristics of Qi Deficiency
This one is for folks feeling overworked and chronically stressed. Depleted Qi - our energetic life force - may leave individuals feeling like they have no reserve in the tank.
Qi Deficiency types present with a feeling of melancholy, weakened immune systems, dull complexion, fatigue, and low appetite. Digestive issues like bloating, loose stools, or constipation are common in those with Qi Deficiency.
Thriving in the Yin Water Rabbit Year with a Qi Deficiency Constitution
Rabbits represent the month of March or the beginning of Spring, when animals can emerge from hibernation and spring into action. This is the perfect year to focus on building vital Qi, to cultivate life energy.
Because this year brings boundless energy it is important to employ strategies that will help to refill your reserves. Rabbits may be able to spring into action, but they also enjoy rest and have a gentle nature.
Proper nutritional intake is of utmost importance to those who are Qi Deficient. The good news, Qi is found in all living things! Focus on cooked, seasonal vegetables to aid the digestive system in absorbing the most nutrients (Qi) out of food. Add dense, nutritious food like squash, sweet potato, adzuki beans and congee to your meals. Our Purple Rice Porridge is a perfect example of a Qi nourishing meal! Eating at regular times, avoiding under or overeating, and enjoying mostly cooked foods is beneficial for your digestive health.
Foods and herbs which support Qi tend to be warm and sweet in nature. Jujube (Chinese Dates), Licorice Root, and Astragalus are all stars for Qi deficiency. Try our Superwoman Tea Tonic to help support the building and free flow of Qi, even if digestion isn’t your number one concern.
Movement & Mindfulness
Rabbits possess great instincts, they know when it's time to act and when it’s time to rest. It is important to find daily movement that supports this intuitive prowess.
Starting small with slower intentional movements like daily walks, yoga, or Qi Gong can give you the energy you need to maintain for longer periods of time. Qi deficiency types are prone to sweat easily, pay extra attention to hydrating and fueling properly to help secure Qi pre and post movement.
Qi Deficiency can lead to a tendency of overthinking, letting things weigh heavily, and not allowing the mind to fully be at rest. It is important to find a practice that promotes inner awareness. Yin symbolizes rest, nighttime, internal, and feminine energy. Alternate nostril breathing and sound healing can be effective tools.