It’s already February, and for us in Calgary the winter season is in full effect. Some of us enjoy this time of the year. Some of us dread it, and hate the ways it can impact negatively on our health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), winter is associated with the element of water. Fear is the emotion most associated with this time of the year and groaning is the most associated sound. Winter can seem a bleak time of the year for some of us. If you are one of those people, here are 3 simple ways to stay healthy and happy during this season, according to TCM.
TIP 1: SLEEP MORE
TCM teaches us to embrace the characteristics of our environment, for good health to prevail. During winter, everything is in hibernation. We can mirror that quality of the season by increasing our snooze time. This nourishes our yang qi (our ability to be active and warm) and protects our yin and essence (the material aspect of our bodies, which include our blood and body fluids).
TIP 2: EAT MORE WARMING FOODS
This is essential to protect our yang qi. In winter yang qi moves deeper inside of the body, to stay protected from the cold of the season. Warming foods nourish our yang qi and protect our bodies’ ability to stay warm during this season. If you eat a lot of salads during winter, and find your energy levels waning, perhaps lightly steaming your veggies may help as well.
TIP 3: MOVE YOUR BODY
Getting your daily exercise is just as important in winter, as it is in any other season. Stick to the exercise routine that makes you feel good. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, start one. Yoga, tai chi and qi gong are great activities you can try. Don’t over do it, as this stresses both the body’s yang qi and yin and essence, which makes us makes us more susceptible to seasonal illnesses.
To conclude here is a bonus tip. Regularly see your acupuncturist :). Regular acupuncture treatments balance your unique constitution, so you stay healthy in winter, and every other season of the year.