Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enjoy autumn, prepare for winter

Chinese Medicine recognizes each season as corresponding to an element. Currently, we are in the Metal time of year, quickly transitioning into Water. These photos were taken on a recent hike outside Evergreen just before the height of the changing Aspen leaves--a breathtaking event in Colorado.

As autumn departs, follow these tips to prepare for winter:

1) Eat warm foods, drink warm liquid. Don't put out your digestive fires with cold, raw salads or ice water. Steam or wilt your salads. Or drink a mug of warm water as you eat your salad to keep your belly warm. Soups are your new best friend. (Keep an eye out for future posts on yummy soup recipes.)

2) Buy an old fashioned hot water bottle at your local drug store. You know those red rubber ones with the screw-on stopper? Just warm some tap water in a kettle, take it off the heat before it boils, and fill the hot water bottle 3/4 full. Forget what I said about soups, this will actually be your new best friend. Take it to bed with you to warm up your feet, cuddle up on the couch with it on your lap, wedge it between the couch and your lower back, sling it over your shoulder and lean up against it -- pain will melt away, your cheeks will get rosy, and, I swear, it's the next best thing to taking a hot bath.

3) Get an electric kettle. I LOVE electric kettles. I really can't say enough good things about them. I probably use mine at least 5 times a day. The wonderful thing about electric kettles, as opposed to stovetop kettles, is that they boil water sooner than you can reach for a tea bag. And since you will be drinking more warm beverages (ahem) and filling up your new hot water bottle, you will need it.

4) Visit your acupuncturist for a seasonal alignment treatment, or to boost your immune system for the upcoming cold season. Prevention is key!

Here is a recent email from a patient, who prefers to remain anonymous, after I helped her through a nasty flu virus:

Just wanted to let you know I think I am FINALLY feeling better. Much better now! Thank you so much for taking care of me and helping me through this thing. Thanks, Josie. Just wanted to let you know your treatment plan worked. Again."

Be well, and stay warm!