The holidays are upon us and snow is starting to fall as we bundle around the fire with warm cups of coffee. Our days are full and active, moving from one event to another. We fill our bellies with candies, cookies, warm festive drinks and maybe a cocktail or two. Our hearts are full of joy as we press on to the next party and push into New Year.
Moving closer to winter, I see a similar symptoms in my office each year: anxiety, insomnia, agitation, dry muscles and tendons (creating injury during activity), inflammation, depression, dry skin, brittle hair, stress and, for the ladies, flaring menopause. As I examine the tongues of every person who comes through my office, the theme in this town is heat that blazes through our bodies. In Chinese Medicine, we create balance within our systems by recognizing what element is creating an imbalance. The dryness in Truckee sets the stage and the kindling, especially during the holidays, that ignites the fire is our morning coffee, spicy foods and sweet treats that we love so much. Our cocktails pour fuel on the fire with each sip of pleasure. Meanwhile, the heaters in our homes are like dehydrators set on low, slowly drying every drop of moisture in our bodies.
If you are currently suffering from one of the aliments above (and who isn’t?), you may want to read on!
5 health tips for the holidays
Here’s 5 easy tips to help cool down your fire:
- Drink water!
- Quit coffee (OK – maybe not today, but this would be an excellent New Years Resolution) Coffee is extremely dehydrating and will begin your day by seeping out any little bit of moisture in your system. I recommend drinking green tea. It is yin (water aspect of our bodies) nourishing and has lots of antioxidants – a win win situation
- Moderate spicy, sweet foods and alcohol. Both spicy and sweet add heat to your system. Garlic and ginger both fire up the stove, increasing the heat in your body. Alcohol will add fuel to the fire.
- Run a humidifier in your home or a place a pot of water on your wood stove. Take time in the bathroom after a shower inhaling the moist air.
- Come see me for a treatment! I can help balance your constitution with acupuncture and herbs, setting a program to get you back on track.
It may be a little ridiculous to expect that these changes will be made before the New Year, but think about adding these changes to your new routine and add more harmony in your life for the New Year.