Major Cold Dà Hán 大寒

January 20, 2022
Major Cold or Dà Hán (Chinese: 大寒) is the 24th and final traditional Chinese solar term and marks the coldest time of the year in many parts of the world.
Each solar term is divided into three pentads consisting of 5 (rarely 6) days, and are named for natural phenomena corresponding to that time of year. The pentads for Major Snow are as follows: Hens Begin to Breed (jī shǐ rǔ 鸡始乳), Birds of Prey Act Fierce and Swift (zhēng niǎo lì jí 征鸟厉疾), and Rivers and Lakes are Frozen Within (shuǐ zé fù jiān 水泽腹坚). The weather may still be cold but the days are getting longer and Yang energy is asserting itself more and more. Chinese New Year and the commencement of the Year of the Tiger is just weeks away!
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Major Cold:
1. The key focus is to ‘warm, nourish and conserve’. Go to bed early and get as much sleep as you can. Moderate your temperament to protect Liver Qi and Blood, and conserve the Heart/Shen.
2. Consider a foot soak/bath along with a gentle massage. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salts can warm and strengthen the Kidney, as well as supplement the Lung and Spleen. A back massage at this time of year provides stimulation of vital backshu points of the various Zangfu organs, in addition to relaxing tensed and tired back muscles.
3. Protect internal warmth and strengthen the body by consuming foods that are easy to digest. Rice, yams, warm soups and stew, braised meat and hot pots are all warming to the body. Adding small amounts of ‘dispersing’ food/herb such as ginger, scallions and leek will help scatter cold. In part of Norther China, locals have a custom of eating “dispelling cold cake”, which is a kind of rice cake containing sticky rice, walnut, longan and red dates. All of these ingredients are warming in winter. It can dispel a cold, moisten the lungs and strengthen the spleen and stomach.
4. During this time of year, it is important to guard against dryness, and Lung dryness in particular. Our onsite clinic and herbal dispensary offers a wide variety of herbal treatments which will certain improve your health and help maintain wellness during this time of the year.
For more information on seasonal health cultivation, schedule an appointment with one of our student interns or licensed practitioners at the Yo San University Blount Community Clinic. Telehealth consultations are also offered by our experienced senior practitioners. Call today. 310.577.3006.