There is an amazing connection between our bodies and the changing seasons, and your health requires different things during each one. Winter is can be a magical time but also filled with health hazards; cold and flu season, forced heat blasting into your bedrooms, overindulging in rich foods or alcohol, lack of consistency in your health routines, family stress at the holidays, little time for self-care, frigid temperatures causing achy joints, dry skin, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – you get the idea.
While there are plenty of traditional options to treat these ailments (cough…go get a flu shot…cough), we like to take a whole-body preventative approach. Things like exercise, healthy eating, acupuncture, tai chi, chiropractic and massage can help round out how you take care of yourself (or others!) this season. Below are a few tips from our Co-Founder, Steve Mavros, L.OM. for staying healthy during this season of less than ideal health habits.
The things your body is missing most right now: sun and moisture. Chase the sun on days it’s out. You can fight SAD with just 10 minutes of sunlight hitting your eyes each day (don’t stare directly at the sun though…). Between the cold outside and the dry heat inside, the increased dryness makes it harder for your nose to filter out viruses. I recommend an evaporative humidifier that can get your bedroom up to at least 40% humidity with periodic uses of saline nasal sprays as a great preventative.
Everything in moderation, INCLUDING moderation. It’s okay to go a little overboard here and there. Don’t stress yourself out over that huge Thanksgiving dinner (plus leftovers for days of course) or worry about the overindulging you did at the office holiday party. As long as most days you’re good to yourself, your body will roll with it and you’ll continue feeling good.
Sleep. Nothing makes your immune system work like a rock star more than 8 hours of sleep. It sounds simple, I know…
Have you heard the saying, “it’s not stress that kills us, but our bodies reaction to it”? It couldn’t be truer. While we can’t make the cause of your stress go away, acupuncture is great for getting your body to respond more effectively. We often use acupoints on the body that can address multiple things, as we think things like pain can come as much from injury as from stress, posture, and internal functions of the body. For example, the spot we use for nausea, also helps open up the chest for asthma and allergies, as well as helping the intense anxieties that cause that lump in your throat.
Certain products can be really effective for short-term treatment. We love supplements like Cold Snap for viruses, Melatonin or CBD for sleep and herbs for menstrual or digestive irregularities.
What are you doing to take care of yourself this season? Instead of going out to eat and drink with your friends, co-workers or family, book one of our Acupuncture with Friends parties (10% off for the month of December!) Instead of drinking that weird Emergen-C supplement, book an appointment for acupuncture. Need to de-stress? Purchase one of our Tai Chi packages (just $25 for two weeks unlimited!). And of course, since it’s the season for giving – pick up a gift card for someone who needs a little help taking care of themselves!