It seeems that winter is finally here with all the rain, snow and wind. With all the dark stormy days sometimes it is easy to feel the wintertime blues. There are many things we can do to stay warm and happy in the wintertime. The best thing is movement and mobility. Try going to a yoga or exercise class. This will help maintain flexability and strength, while getting you moving to stay warm. Yoga and other forms of meditation like qi gong and tai chi are important because during meditation your brain enters an alpha and theta state. This is helpful for elevating mood and balancing neurotransmittors.
In Chinese Medicine Winter is Associated with the Kidneys:
The Kidneys are seen as the original form of energy that we inherit from our parents. It is imoportant to conserve this energy by taking time to get in touch with the slower, darker months and get more sleep, meditate more and even foods can be cooked slower. Foods that are great for this time of year are stews, soups, steamed vegetables, and warming herbs (such as: cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and onion). Make sure not to have too many hot, spicy foods though because too hot can burn up the Kidney energy. When having spicy foods, it is good to balance them with astringent and sour foods (such as: vinegars, saurkraut, cherries, cranberries and sour plums).
Herbs and Supplements to Keep the Winter Blues Away:
Schisandra Berry- This is a unique herb in that it has all five flavors: sour, pungent, neutral, bitter, and sweet. The Chinese name for this herb is “wu wei zi,” meaning five flavor seed. This is a great resorative herb for the kidneys.
Vitamin D- Anyone who lives in the Northwest, especially here at the coast knows we don’t get enough sunshine to synthesize vitamin D production. It is a good idea to take vitamin D to keep our mood and immune system up this time of year.
**Mushrooms are also a great source of vitamin D**
BODYWORK to Elevate Mood and Increase Circulation
Acupuncture and Massage are great ways to uplift the spirit and keep
positive through the darker months.
Acupuncture has been shown to release serotonin and stimulate your
parasympathetic nervous system ie. rest and digest mode. Most
anti-depressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), which raise the levels of serotonin in the body. Acupuncture creates a similar effect without the detrimental side effects and can treat so much more!!
Massage releases endorphins in the body to reduce chronic or acute pain that is physical, mental, and spiritual in origin. Have you ever noticed how your posture and body mechanics change with feeling depressed? Bodywork can help to create structural support. Energizing techniques are used to aliven and awaken your well-being.