The following health care tips, when you think about it, are just common sense… stuff your parents or grandparents tried to tell you a long time ago. So what’s the big deal? Nobody pays attention anymore. These same tips were passed down from parents stemming from various cultures dating back thousands of years. Coming from a Hispanic heritage I can attest that any Mexican grandmother will tell you that you’ll catch your death if you go out in the cold with wet hair or have nightmares if you eat too late at night. The way these helpful hints were usually worded were to scare kids into paying attention. Why? Because these lessons were very important.
Now that you’re not a kid anymore you can decide for yourself whether or not these few helpful hints actually make a difference.
Rather than complicating explanations with TCM concepts, recommending you change your diet to include black fungus and kohlrabi… just try implementing these few good habits. Make your kids follow these tips too. Your grandmother would be proud of you!
A few good habits during wintertime can make the transition much less taxing and promote good health throughout.
Cover up. Chinese Medicine doctrine dictates that cold that can lead to illness enters the body from the neck and shoulders so, it is very important the keep your neck and shoulders warm when outdoors (scarves and turtle neck sweaters). Most body heat escapes through the head. Consider wearing something to cover your head. Do not let parts of your body come in direct contact with cold surfaces. Pathogenic cold can enter the body through direct contact with cold surfaces causing roaming aches and pains that are aggravated by cold temperatures. This particular syndrome is impossible to detect via conventional medical methods and often mistaken for other illnesses. Winter is the perfect occasion to break out those funny hats, comfy bunny slippers or insanely fluffy socks you were gifted in seasons past and wear them proudly knowing you are protecting your health!
Get plenty of sleep. Getting plenty of sleep (at night) enables your body to conserve energy used for healing and warming the body when exposed to colder climates. Poor sleep lowers your immune system. Use this blog as your excuse to set the alarm early enough to hit the “Snooze” button a couple times as you wake up gradually.
Don’t eat too much. Just about everybody tends to “pig out” around the holidays. It’s really not good for you. Your body’s natural tendency is to store fat in winter. Eating smaller more frequent meals will help maintain energy levels, moderate blood sugar levels and prevent excessive weight gain.
Drink warm liquids. Eat warm foods. Your body uses energy that takes away from your body’s natural defenses to warm cold food and drinks to body temperature. Try some of those soups and stews your grandmother always made and reminisce in the comfort they bring!
Reduce stress. As difficult as it may seem, find a simple way to relax and release stress on a regular basis. Meditation or taking a long hot bath are good suggestions. Choose your own method. Remember, it’s snuggling weather! Stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can easily deplete the immune system allowing winter illnesses to invade the body more easily.