Chinese medicine encourages us to live in harmony with nature, adjusting to the seasonal changes helps us achieve balance in our bodies and ourselves.
Winter is the season of introspection. The cold weather and shorter days encourage inward exploration and reflection.
Our inner rhythm slows down and we benefit from sleeping longer hours and even taking a vacation.
Exercise should be slow and restorative. Tai Chi and Qigong, very popular in the Orient are very good forms of exercise for this season.
Fear is the emotion associated with the winter season, courage its opposite. Fear is contracting and freezes potential, it creates obstacles in our life that get in the way of how we make choices, act in relationship, and react to other people.
Meditation and journaling are good ways to explore our fears. Worries are really chronic fears; remember that what we hold in our minds tends to materialize in the world. Practicing facing our fear can help us move through it and release it.
Winter is the season of the kidneys. Staying hydrated is very important. With the colder weather we tend to drink less, the heated environments dehydrate us making it difficult for the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Also using a heating pad on the low back before bed improves circulation and benefits the kidneys.
Our metabolism slows down during the winter due to less activity. Warm foods like stews, soups and roasts can help us feel full and avoid reaching for comfort foods. We should avoid cold and raw foods during the winter months, as our bodies are colder and our digestion slower.
Bitter and salty foods like steamed winter greens, turnips, celery, asparagus, alfalfa, oats, quinoa, millet, barley, seaweeds, lamb, bone broth, and miso are appropriate for winter.
Tips to stay healthy during the winter
- Reduce carbohydrates and sugar. Sugar and carbohydrates are at the root of many modern diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s.
Also sugar depresses the immune system making us more susceptible to colds and flu.
- Eat at home. Cooking promotes better nutrition and family dynamics and prevents obesity.
- Manage stress. Stress is the cause of 85% of hospital admissions. Take time off, meditate, get acupuncture, go to counseling.
- Take Vitamin D
Acupuncture helps the Immune System!
When coming down with a cold or flu, don’t wait, start acupuncture and herbs in the early stages. Chinese Medicine can prevent you from getting sick or considerably shorten the time of illness.
Are your children getting recurrent colds and ear infections?
Consider using dietary therapy and Chinese pediatric herbal medicine instead of antibiotics.
Ursula Schmidt LAc