Health maintenance in winter
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human
being should follow and match the change of the nature to
maintain health. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:
Keep quiet in winter
Winter is a season in which all animals slow
down their daily activity to keep and save energy. In another
words, it is a time in which Yang Qi in the nature becomes
stored and rested for the next year.
Similarly, human being should reduce our daily
activity in winter to save our Yang Qi in the body for the next
Here the daily activity include both the
physical and emotional activity.
Physically, we should have less physical
exercise, should not let the body have too much sweat. We don’t
think that to have sport outside with too much sweat will be a
good idea to maintain health. Rather, quiet energy exercise,
such as meditation or Qi Gong exercise is recommended. If you
have no access to the Qi Gong exercise, you can simply follow
the Reiki training.
Mentally and emotionally, winter is not the
proper time for you to start new business or start a new job. If
you can control your life, this is our advice to you. Mental and
emotional activity of course will consume your life energy from
your upper body (chest, throat and brain). This is especially
important for those of people who have already had problem in
their heart, throat, thyroid, or already have migraine.
Only start from spring, is it your proper time
to start plan your business, consider important things in your
life. After a quiet winter, you should be able to feel very
fresh in physical and emotional body in spring. It will not
waste your time at all in winter.
Sleep earlier and get up later
As an animal, follow the sun rise or set down
in winter to have your time to stay in bed.
You need longer sleep in winter than in
summer. When you do it in winter, you will have less sleep in
I know it is hard for most of us to keep such
life style. Most of us cannot arrange our life as we will. We
all create our current life style and we at the same time also
suffer from it. Good sleep is much important in winter than
eating, which is more important in summer.
In summer, the night is short so you do not
need to sleep a long night. With current life style it is hard
to have short time night sleep in summer to keep our energy. As
we said, you have to change your life style from long time sleep
in winter. That could make the change in life style easier.
Eat more warm food and drink warm beverage in winter
Food, fruits and vegetables have cold or warm
nature according to Chinese herb therapy. Foods affect our
health differently according to our body condition too.
In winter, our body is basically warm inside
and cold outside (as the same as the earth).
If you make a hole on earth in winter, you
know it is much warm under ground than on the ground. If you
come to that hole in summer, you could feel it is much cool than
on the surface of the ground. Our body is similar: it is warm
inside of the body in winter but cooler in summer.
For ordinary and health people in winter, if
we eat more warm food, such as sheep meat, garlic, cinnamon, we
should eat some cold food, such as turnip to buffer the warm. On
the other side in summer, it we eat too much cold food, such as
water melon, banana, we should eat some warm food, such as
ginger, garlic. This is a general rule.
However, for some people, if their body
condition is already in cold (inside or on the surface of the
body) no matter it is in winter or summer, they still need to
have relatively more warm food in winter. Their body condition
belong to a Yin overwhelming condition, which is also called
relatively or absolutely Yang depletion condition. Such people
very frequently feel cold in hands and/or feet, very easy to
have mouth ulcer, sour throat, dry mouth (but do not want to
drink water, of if they drink, they prefer warm water and
usually little bit each time). They have reduced tolerance to
the physical stress (temperature, or pressure), or emotional
stress (hard work or anxiety job, stressful personal
relationship). They feel very easy to have poor sleep or have
frequent headache under such stress.
Our current life style tends to deplete the
Yang Qi from the body in many ways. Hard study, hard work,
uncontrolled and irregular food intake, alcohol drinking, or
cold beverage drinking (cold in nature on in temperature), too
much sexual activity (sexual stimulation or actual sex
activity), frequent abortion, large amount intake of anti-biotics,
artificial vitamins, minerals, overdrinking of tap water… all
deplete the Yang Qi from the body. The Yang Qi to our body is as
the sunshine to the life on the earth. Without the Yang Qi,
there is no life. Nowadays nine out of ten people are cold body
due to the above reasons created by modern life style.
There are cold meal, or warm meal; cold fruit
or warm fruit; cold meat or warm meat too. It is hard for you to
remember. Here is some tips: most spice is warm in nature, such
as pepper, hot pepper, onion, green onion, garlic, ginger,
cinnamon, prickly ash, clove, Chinese chives, and fennel.
Some fruits are cold in nature, such as apple,
letch, pear, mongo, strawberry, banana, water melon, cantaloupe,
orange, persimmon, kiwi, sugarcane. Warm fruits include peach,
apricot, Chinese date, litchi, lemon, areca nut (bing lang),
wall nut kernel, pine nut kernel, cherry, wax berry.
Most meat are either warm (sheep
meat, cow meat, chicken, shrimp and most fish) or neutral.
Little is cold, such as duck, duck egg, crab, blackfish.
Most meals are neutral, little is
warm (surghum), except of millet, wheat or green bean (cold).
Half vegetables tend to be
neutral, such as turnip, carrot, cabbage, potato, and half to be
cold, such as tomato, celery, eggplants, spinach, wax gourd,
luffa, cucumber, most mushrooms, bitter melon, water chestnut.
Other commonly used food or food material,
that belong to warm are: brown sugar, coffee, wine, vinegar,
Soy milk is neutral. Cow’s milk,
horse milk and human milk is little cold.
Salt, sauce and honey are cold.
Warm your feet
Wash your feet with hot water everyday before
going to bed. You can put several pieces of fresh ginger. Slice
the ginger as thin as possible. You can put 3, 5, or 7 slices
each time, based on the level of your body condition. The colder
your body is, the more ginger needed. It stimulates blood
circulation, explained by conventional medicine, but it is
believed to promote your Yang Qi in the body, according to TCM.
It also improves sleeping.