1. Go to Bed Early & Get Up Late. This is the only time of year that Chinese Medicine suggests you can get up after sunrise – only after the warming rays of the sun have appeared in the morning.
2. Listen Clearly: Winter is a time of stillness and quiet, amplifying any sound there is. Our ability to listen clearly at this time of year is sharpest. Listen to yourself and your interactions with others.
3. Keeping the feet and legs warm through winter is essential in order to nourish Kidney Qi. Reduce hot showers or baths as the pores of the skin open and Yang Qi is easily lost. Hot-water foot-baths are recommended just before going to bed.
4. Exercise: Winter is also a good time to get the Qi moving with light physical exercise such as walking-jogging-biking to prevent stagnation. However, on stormy or windy days, it is important to rug up properly or to stay indoors where possible. The cold that surrounds us at this time of year can easily seep into our bodies and lower our immunity. Exercise until you are warm but stop before you sweat too much.
5. Increase bitter foods in winter: Try adding more turnip, celery, rye & oats. Bitter foods also include dandelion, yarrow, chamomile, alfalfa, bitter melon, lettuce and rye. Asparagus, lettuce and papaya are bitter and sweet. If bitter not your thing, beetroot is a winter food that strengthens the Heart Qi and the Blood. For cold and pain try a leek and potato soup or a good old fashion lamb stew.
“As always, it is essential to eat foods that support the Spleen and Stomach. Foods such as cabbage, pumpkin, potatoes, yams, sweet potato, carrots and outs help the Stomach and Spleen work together. For general digestive support try a pumpkin or sweet potato soup made with chicken stock. If there are few signs of heat in the body you can add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg. Winter foods that drain damp include barley, kidney beans, anchovies, chestnuts, chicken, jobs tears barley, kidney beans, parsnip, tuna, prawns and turnip.”
Other than that, dress appropriately, get a little more sleep, stay active, eat well. Enjoy the winter!
For the comprehensive article see How To Stay Healthy in Winter
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Tan L.AC. is a licensed Acupuncturist. After completing his degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Alex lived and practiced Chinese Medicine for 10-years in Beijing, China. A native-born Australian, the son of his Australian mother and Chinese father, Alex’s bi-cultural heritage helps him skillfully bridge Eastern and Western health perspectives. He believes the true power of Chinese medicine lies in a balanced approach towards prevention and treatment. Rooted in Chinese Medicine observation based theory & methodology over millenniums, Alex’s talent lies in delivering these Eastern healing modalities to his modern Western clients. For more about Alex click here
Alex runs a clinic in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona. Alex welcomes comments and questions to his articles. To schedule an appointment in person or telco-appointment click here