Winter represents the most Yin aspect in Chinese Medicine. Yin represents the dark, cold, slow, inward energy and a time of deep nourishment and rest.

Chinese medicine offers a variety of lifestyle tips and treatments that can help you feel more energized, enjoy better circulation, and stay warm as the temperatures drop and the days shorten.

Let’s explore six ways Chinese medicine can help you stay balanced and supported this season.

1. Supporting the Yang for Seasonal Wellness

According to Chinese medicine, winter is the peak time of Yin energy. Nature provides the most Yin energy during this time of year (think cold, dark, moisture, stillness). Our bodies instinctively express the fundamental principles of winter through an increased need for rest, reflection, conservation, and storage. To maintain health and well-being, it’s also helpful to incorporate some Yang elements to balance this out.
Many holiday traditions already incorporate Yang-beneficial wellness practices into holiday traditions, such as
  • Lighting Candles for added warmth and light: On those cold winter nights, light a candle to provide some light and warmth during the shorter days and longer evenings.
  • Using spices with warming and circulation-supporting properties: Add warming spices like nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom to cooking and baking for circulation support.
  • Bringing in nature’s essential oils from the forest: Your home will smell pleasant, provide therapeutic benefits, and lift your mood with the natural essential oils from the Christmas tree. 

2. Regular Acupuncture to Recharge Your Batteries

If you’re feeling tired and drained this winter, you’re not alone. Many Calm patients come in during the winter months seeking a much-needed energy boost. As the cold months of winter approach, it is the ideal time to recharge your battery, and acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbal medicine can all assist you in feeling your best.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, winter is associated with the Kidney and Bladder systems, which also include your adrenal glands and as this energy is easily depleted during the winter months, it is imperative to nurture and nourish these systems and recharge your batteries with regular acupuncture visits.

3. Acupressure on Stomach-36 (ST-36)

Acupuncture and acupressure are beneficial during the winter months as they improve blood circulation and qi circulation throughout the body while providing relief from pain or tension. beneficial during the winter months as they improve circulation of both blood and qi throughout the body while relieving pain or tension.
Research has shown that your whole body’s blood circulation improves after acupuncture. This is especially true for the acupuncture point ST 36, located on your lower leg. Studies have found significant elevations in the whole-body peripheral blood flow and parasympathetic activities after acupuncture at this specific point. Acupressure at ST 36 is also an excellent acupuncture point to incorporate into your self-care routine at home.
St 36 is one of the most commonly used acupuncture points in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is located four finger widths below your kneecap on the front side of your lower leg, right along an acupressure line known as “the four gates,” which connects all four limbs. Stimulating this point helps regulate digestion and boosts immunity while also having an energizing effect on the entire body. To activate St 36, simply use your fingers to press down until you feel a slight tension or pressure for 10 minutes daily.

4. Herbal Remedies

Chinese herbal formulas are another way to support your well-being during winter. Herbal remedies come in many forms, including teas, tinctures, pills, powders, and liniments. These herbs are chosen based on their ability to treat particular conditions or illnesses and restore balance within the body’s systems. As with any herbal remedy, it is important to consult an experienced practitioner before taking any new formula or supplement.
Herbal medicines have been used for thousands of years by many different cultures worldwide because they are natural remedies with few side effects when taken correctly under professional guidance. During wintertime, herbs like ginseng, astragalus root, ginger root, goji berries, reishi mushroom, turmeric, and elderberry syrup, among many others, provide additional support to keep us healthy while helping us fight off colds or flus.

5. Eating Warm Foods & Protecting Your Digestion

Warm, easy-to-digest foods are ideal during the winter, like stews, soups, root vegetables, and hot cereals like oatmeal and porridge with spices that boost immunity and circulation while aiding digestion at the same time.
Many of the traditional holiday spices such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and black pepper have been used in traditional healing systems all over the world for centuries because they contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants which help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals in our environment. Adding these spices to food enhances flavor and helps boost immunity during this cold season.
During the colder months, it’s also a good idea to avoid cold drinks such as smoothies and juices since they can cause uncomfortable bloating – instead, drink hot brewed tea or warm drinks (hello glühwein!). During this season, you might also want to include probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt & kimchi, which will nourish your gut microbiome and keep digestion regular and limit processed sugar consumption as it’s been linked with weakening the body’s immune function.

6. Cupping Therapy for Relaxation & Detoxification

Cupping therapy is a great way to release tension and tightness from all the holiday preparations. Cupping therapy stimulates circulation throughout the body as well as promote relaxation through its soothing effects on tight muscles due to tension or stress, helping to break up stagnant blood and lymph beneath your skin’s surface, which helps open up pathways for improved circulation throughout your entire system allowing more energy flow throughout your organs without obstruction from knots or tense muscles caused by stress or overworking certain areas of the body like shoulders or lower back pain. It can also benefit those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Cupping helps stimulate oxygenated blood flow, which helps reduce inflammation & pain while increasing the range of motion within those affected areas! Additionally, cupping can help loosen tight fascia (connective tissue), which often causes discomfort & impairs movement. Hence, it’s perfect if you’re looking for relief from stiff joints or sore muscles due to exercise & other physical activity.

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