Now that the weather has gotten colder, the days are getting darker and the rain (and snow…) is here, there are some very important things we can do to support ourselves. These simple suggestions will bring lasting results and support for health and immunity over the next few cold, wet months.
Here are a list of a few supportive tips from a Traditional East Asian perspective:
Eat warm, cooked meals, including soups, broths and stews
This is especially important for those of us who struggle with fatigue, feeling cold (even just cold hands and feet) as well as have poor digestion. When we eat foods that are cooked, they are easier for our bodies to break down and turn into Qi (energy) and blood. That way we can spend less energy digesting our food and more time putting energy into our everyday lives.
Foods to bring into your diet this winter can include: congee, oatmeal, soups, bone broth, roasted root vegetables and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and garlic. Consider hot fluids over cold or iced beverages. Especially warming fluids like chai and ginger teas.
Keep your feet warm
This is an important one, especially for people with painful menstrual cramping that is relieved by warmth or stomach cramping from digestion. All of the acupuncture meridians that go through the abdomen start or end in the feet. This is important to consider when we have cold feet. Cold constricts our blood vessel and block the flow of Qi and Blood through the meridians and can result in pain anywhere along the channel. By keeping our feet, legs and abdomen warm we can actually help relieve pain.
Being proactive is an important step. If you know your bleed is approaching, try soaking feet in warm water before bed and then put on a pair of thick socks. This can also be done before ovulation if you are trying to conceive.
Moxibustion is the herb mugwort burned over acupuncture points in different forms to create a deep, penetrative heat. It warms and stimulates points with infrared heat and goes deep into the muscle layers and stimulates the acupuncture points with heat instead of needles.
For people with colder constitutions, this can actually be more beneficial than needles. We have moxa sticks and kits available in the lobby, READ HERE for more details!
Buy a heating pad or hot water bottle
This is something that is an amazing investment and actually is best done while seated on the couch watching TV :). Great for chronic pain, stiffness anywhere on the body. Simply put the heating pad on your back, abdomen, feet, legs, neck and relax. I love putting on over my kidneys as they are the organ of winter and need a little extra support during this time.
This is one that is easier said than done. Winter is the time of Yin. This is opposite to summer which is the time of Yang. Yin and Yang are meant to balance. While summer brings, warmth, high, outward yang energy. It is only natural that winter be the opposite, cool, lower, inward yin energy. It is actually important to rest during this time. The days are longer and darker which means our energy is less and less. Listen to nature and rest.
Our society doesn’t acknowledge this change in our work loads but it is important that we make space for it in our lives. Instead of going out, check in, if you are tired, stay in and rest. Don’t feel guilty about it. Because if we can go with nature, then we will be rested for the Yang to begin to grow in spring and this can actually have a better impact on our immune systems and we can actually stand up better to seasonal allergies that come with the warmer seasons.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding this info and how it can help you to feel your best this winter. And of course for anything else that ails ya, seasonal or otherwise, come and get poked .