Welcome to Millwoods Acupuncture Centre

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



 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:

(1). 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 yea too.

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.

(2). 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 next summer.

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.

(3). 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, brown tea.

 Soy milk is neutral. Cow’s milk, horse milk and human milk is little cold.

 Salt, sauce and honey are cold.

 (4). 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.