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.
The nature of the Yin Water Rabbit empowers us to move forward with grace and skill. This year brings awareness to any feelings of stuckness and asks us to form a plan of action to create momentum. Feeling stuck is a key symptom to our 5th Body Constitution, Qi Stagnation. Read below for tips on navigating through this Lunar New Year.
Characteristics of Qi Stagnation
Qi Stagnation is a byproduct of holding in emotions or compartmentalizing feelings to the point where Qi physically gets stuck. Qi Stagnation feels dull, achey, and can give rise to heat or dampness in the body. There is a tendency to experience anxiety, heart palpitations, PMS, irritability, and painful periods. Like many of the other constitutions Qi Stagnation types may experience digestive issues like bloating, indigestion. A feeling of stuckness in the throat (also called “plum pit Qi”) is a common manifestation.
Thriving in the Yin Water Rabbit Year
Water is deeply connected to emotions, specifically fear. Emotions may therefore come to the forefront this year, bringing overwhelm and creating inaction if not dealt with properly.
The energy of the year asks us to take steps to bring momentum into our health and wellbeing. This is a great year to find support with acupuncturists, talk therapists, or other healing professionals who may help you navigate this landscape.
Qi Stagnation is due to lack of the healthy flow of Qi. A balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors can help encourage the free flow of Qi and break through stagnation. Choose foods like miso, radish, onions, ginger, quinoa, garlic, and squash to support Qi flow. Try our Liver Supporting Kale and Lemon Soup to encourage the free flow of Qi.
Herbs that are bitter and warm tend to regulate Qi best. Add citrus peel, ginger, and cinnamon to teas or cooking. Our Smooth Digestion Tea Tonic supports the building and free flow of Qi, even if digestion isn’t your number one concern.
Movement & Mindfulness
Qi Stagnation types tend to have pent up or stuck energy. They can benefit from more vigorous exercises like swimming, HIIT, or dance classes. Breath work that helps create movement and helps to ignite the digestive power can be beneficial to those with Qi Stagnation, especially before and after meals. Balance more active practices with restorative practices when winding down.
Discover our recommendations for: Yang Deficiency, Yin Deficiency, Qi Deficiency, Phlegm Dampness, Damp Heat, Blood Stasis, Allergic Constitution