Three Easy Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter

by Alexander Ezzati

Stay Healthy in the Winter With Traditional Chinese Medicine

The winter season always comes with an onslaught of health problems that can range from dry skin to the common cold. More often than not, your doctor or other healthcare provider will recommend harsh remedies such as prescription pills or flu vaccinations. Unfortunately, these products come with a litany of side effects that are often listed in the long pharmaceutical TV ads that seem to mention more about adverse health possibilities than the merits.

Still, conventional medical approaches are usually ones that entail Big Pharma loyalty, even at the risk of further endangering human health. This promotes the vicious cycle of using drugs that suppress, instead of really addressing the problem.

Fortunately, there are still doctors who tend to go against the overemphasized rule of always following Western medicine. They say the time has come to embrace more Eastern medical approaches in spite of the fact that when “alternative approaches” is mentioned, it often results in raised eyebrows.

One such Eastern approach is Traditional Chinese Medicine which states, in order to safeguard our health, one must live in harmony with the seasons. Making proper modifications to our lifestyle, sleeping habits, and diet can make us cope better with changing temperatures and become more in tune with nature. Maintaining our health during the season of winter means to slow down, get more sleep, and to eat warming foods.

Three Easy Tips to Stay Healthy in the Winter Courtesy of Traditional Chinese Medicine

  1. Slow Down

    It’s natural for our bodies to slow down and not delve into various activities during the winter season as one tends to do in spring and summer. While we’re not proposing you turning into a couch potato, we are simply saying that you need to have some quiet time for yourself and consider taking a vacation or practicing meditation. These recommendations are also associated with the Eastern practice of self-care that may also include participating in social activities and acupuncture in order to replenish your energy.

  2. Get More Sleep

    Sleep is very important, especially in the reduced hours of daylight in the winter season. This is especially true in a society that seems inclined to sleeping less and working more. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners recommend keeping our bodies more in tune with nature. To accomplish this, they recommend during the winter to get a minimum of nine hours of sleep as opposed to the eight hours of sleep we all should get during spring and summer.

  3. Eat Warming Foods

    During winter, TCM recommends eating warming foods like squash, spicy foods, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. All contain compounds that generate a warming effect in the body. Consuming more of these foods helps repair any imbalance in the body that tends to occur in colder climates and locations.

The Growing Popularity of Eastern Medicine

The “winterizing” health advice of Eastern Traditional Chinese Medicine has been becoming more and more popular.

For instance, in an article featured in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that experts in Europe and the United States along with Chinese Universities are researching methods to combine conventional Western practices with Eastern medical practices. This is a continuing attempt to enhance existing scientific approaches and guidelines so that alternative approaches can be more readily examined in Western societies. It’s already being considered as gleaned from researchers at Yale University who are testing a potential herbal formula that may relieve symptoms among patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Other studies have observed positive results in drinking a chaga mushroom brew to enhance the immune system or drinking parsley tea to cure skin conditions.

Parsley tea has been shown to furnish the skin with nourishing vitamins while also helping to wash away toxins in the liver, thus restoring the health of the skin.

In the winter, our immune system is naturally suppressed but it’s unhealthy to resist the seasons. We’re unable to reenergize our immune system to safeguard our health if we’re not aligned with the natural cycles of life.

So, you should first consider slowing down your on-the-go mentality, getting more sleep, and eating more garlic to relieve a winter cold instead of taking an over-the-counter cold medication which your doctor might recommend.

Alexander Ezzati is a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and the founder of Balance Within - Acupuncture Clinic in Encino, CA.

Alexander Ezzati – who has written posts on Acupuncture Encino CA - Balance Within - Integrative Acupuncture.


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