Winter brings with it the cold weather; even in the sub-tropical climate of Brisbane we experience the march of the seasons. The coming of the cold is the signal for women to wrap up and keep warm, not only neck and hands, but also bellies, legs and feet. 

In nature, plants contract their energy inwards in Winter – the seed returns to the ground after the fullness of late summer and deciduous trees lose their leaves during the fall of autumn because there is no longer energy at the level of the branches to sustain them – the Vital Force has subsided into the roots and lies hidden in the ground awaiting the return of Spring.

The Human and Animal Kingdoms are no different – they are moved by the same Vital Force (life force), characterised by expansion in Summer and contraction in Winter.

One of the best illustrations that the Vital Force is associated with warmth is to compare a dead individual to a live one – there is no doubt that a person goes cold upon death. Conversely, children, who have loads of Vital Force, usually have slightly elevated body temperatures compared to adults – and they get fevers when their Vital Force is beset by an active and virulent bacterial or viral infection – their life force is high.

What we observe is that the colder we are the less vital we are! At some time in your life you must have noticed that when you are cold you find you are slower to get moving and you digest less efficiently. This is because warmth is required by living beings (and animals and plants) to function efficiently. For example, digestives enzymes (they kick-start the digestive function) are triggered by warmth and enzymes. If the digestive system is continually fed cold drinks and cold foods it creates a cold internal environment and digestion becomes impaired as a result.  

The negative effect of cold on human functioning holds especially true for females whose biological design relies on staying warm. During the course of a woman's fertile life the free-flow of blood during her monthly cycle is critical to painless periods and optimum reproductive health. Cold congeals blood and causes it to stagnate, giving rise to painful periods, endometriosis and even infertility in the longer term. The nest (uterus) in which a baby is conceived and grows to term during pregnancy needs to be filled with free-flowing blood to firstly, enable conception and secondly, to nourish the baby's development.  

Last Friday I was sitting with a colleague in a little coffee bar rugged up against the cold and enjoying a Soy Chai Latte that was warming my not only my hands but my insides. We noticed a young woman skipping past going somewhere in a hurry. I guessed that perhaps her hurry was more to do with staying warm in the face of a brisk cool wind that was tearing up the street, as she was wearing only a bra top and calf length hipster leggings (looked like gym garb) with nothing but a wide strip of bare midriff joining the garments in the middle!  

We speculated that she had been to the gym doing exercise (and getting quite hot) and then had slipped into the shops on the way home. My concern was that because she had been so warm, by going out into the cold immediately afterwards with her pores wide open, she increased the chances of cold penetrating into her body in all those places where she was exposed. And those places are exactly the body parts that need to be nurtured and protected from the cold.

My companion and I spent the rest of our conversation discussing how the education system fails young women in preparing them to maintain their feminine health. Cold penetration into the blood vessels, the uterus and the bones can cause such a disruption in the gynealogical health of women that it not only causes ongoing painful menstruation but can also compromise their fertility. Wouldn't it be great to see an inclusion at High School devoted to teaching young women how to treasure the reproductive power they were born with and can so easily compromise through a lack of understanding.

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