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Tips for Staying Healthy this Winter

Believe it or not but it is still technically the winter season. The weather here in Central Ohio has been surprisingly pleasant and I am scared to celebrate just yet because when I do it is sure to signal a huge snowstorm. Hopefully we can escape this winter without any treacherous weather.

Our office has seen quite a few patients with colds and those complaining of feeling run down. This is just a reminder that winter urges us to slow down. This is a natural time of year to replenish energy and conserve strength.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with a specific organ in our body and element. Winter corresponds to the Water element and Kidney organ. This organ in Chinese Medicine stores Kidney Qi (our vital energy). You can think of Kidney Qi as the gas in a car’s tank. When our gas tank gets close to empty our car slows down and the tank is more likely to freeze. The key to surviving the winter and staying healthy is to keep your tank full and stay warm! Here are some tips to keep you healthy through the reminder of winter:

1)      Go to bed earlier. Conserve your energy and help build up your reserves.

2)      Stay warm. When out in the cold, wear a scarf to keep your back, neck and chest warm. It is also important to keep your head warm as well. You may have laughed when your mom used to say “you will catch a cold if you don’t keep warm” but there is a lot of truth to this.

3)      Watch your diet. Stay away from raw foods like salads because they have a cooling effect on the body. Instead eat warm soups and stews, roasted nuts, whole grains and root vegetables.

4)      Keep your feet warm. Cold comes through the floor and into our body. If you are trying to conceive this is especially important.

5)      Stay hydrated. This is the season of the Water element- drink plenty of water (room temperature not cold) throughout the day.