Health and Wellness Tips for the Winter Season
Winter is coming…well according to the Chinese calendar it has been here about a month already. In the west, we usually acknowledge the season change at its peak. As far as winter is concerned, that means it is going to get colder and colder in the upcoming weeks.
(Go to bottom for video links and upcoming class schedule)
Winter is a time in nature when energy goes deep inside. For example, trees draw their energy inward back into the earth and many animals hibernate or are more dormant. The climate is cold and things, like our bodies, tend to contract and get tight. Days are shorter and we get less sun which is often associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder and an increase in Vitamin D deficiency. When the environment is dark, the pineal gland secretes melatonin which can induce drowsiness, apathy and depression.
In general, we do not get proper amounts of the specific ultraviolet rays that stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands which help with many endocrine functions. Being indoors and behind glass, which filters out these rays, adds to this lack of sun. Wearing glasses and contacts can also block these rays. What is less known is that the retina of the eyes plays a key role in absorbing this energy and sending signals to the brain to activate various hormones. Although staring directly at the sun is not recommended, you can do exercises in which you angle your head 10-15 degrees off center from the sun with eyes closed, then open and blink quickly for a few seconds and turn away. You can repeat this one or two times. Before 9am and after 4pm in winter are the best times to do this kind of looking towards the sun.
Another thing to consider, especially in urban environments during winter, is that we may be exposed to offices or apartments with a lot drying heat from radiators. It is important to stay hydrated and use a humidifier to keep the air from getting too dry.
In terms of diet, adding some ginger and cinnamon can help warm you up. If you eat meat, lamb and beef are considered yang or warming. Bone broth can be very helpful. Otherwise balancing anything cold or raw like salad, with soup or a warming tea can keep your internal environment more balanced.
In Chinese medicine, Winter is associated with the Water Element. The corresponding organs are the kidneys and the urinary bladder, the emotions are fear and fright, and the virtues include wisdom and gentleness. The kidneys are basically your body’s batteries. Each of us were given a certain charge at birth which influences our aging process and life span. The kidneys are in charge of many body functions and support all the other organs. The primary part of the body affected by imbalances with the kidneys’ energy is the lower back. Winter can be a time that aggravates lower back issues.
Sometimes our fear protects us from dangerous situations and sometimes it tries to protect us based on past experiences that may no longer be what we need in the moment. Understanding your fears and moving through them can help move you forward on your path. Wisdom that comes with age and expanded experiences along with gentleness can help you help your fear work better for you.
Self-acupressure with or without aromatherapy, doing qigong and other self-cultivation exercises can help you balance the physical, mental-emotional and spiritual energies associated with the winter season. I have posted some self-help videos on YouTube that you can use right away. I know many of you have holistic practitioners that you go to for help. If you haven’t already, this would be a good time to get your seasonal tune up. Either way these tips and videos will help you accelerate your healing journey.
Winter is the time for Acuformula H5-The Blue Dragon. It is a warming formula and can be put on points instead of moxa or with moxa to boost your immune system. Do you ever get cramps in your legs or feet especially at night? Within 3 seconds of rubbing the Blue Dragon on the muscle and your cramp is gone. I know it sounds like a crazy claim and it is not one approved by the FDA, but everyone including myself has experienced this, every time. One patient told me today that the cramp starts going away before she is done rubbing it in and that she keeps a bottle by her bed. She also said the Green Dragon helps as well but the Blue is faster for cramps.
I was in Philly last week and I got a call today from someone that used the Green Dragon for a severe toothache that would wake her up at night. She said the pain is still gone and that she is telling all her friends. The Green Dragon is the most versatile of the Acuformulas.
That said part of my mission is to help more people and to keep my friend Doc alive through the
Acuformulas which he helped me make. Part of the sales go to an educational scholarship in his name. He would strive to always improve himself and never stop learning and believed everyone was his teacher. So please spread the word and share with anyone who could benefit and enjoy working with essential oils and acupressure.
And while I do not have many Vimeo video sales, my Five Elements Qigong DVD is still getting play and helping people with many different issues. One lady in her 70’s who has been awaiting a liver transplant said after doing the exercises she feels so much better. She also said it was easy, fun and not bad eye candy too (had to share that last part not knowing her orientation, it could go either way).
Not sure how to get some of the other videos out there but I will catch up with the technology hopefully soon. In the meantime, I have posted more to YouTube and will get more out there.
The Acuformulas and Qigong DVD could make a good holiday gift for anyone ready to take more responsibility for their health. If you are a practitioner already using them or would like some easy to use, effective tools that patients love to supplement your practice, let me know before you order so I can guide you to the practitioner page. Also Lhasa OMS is selling the roll on bottles to both the public and practitioners as well. A woman in DC said she ordered Blue and Green from Lhasa OMS and was impressed not only how quickly they worked for her, but how long the bottles last. Just remember “Shake and Roll”. The ingredients are mostly organic and wild crafted with nothing chemical to bind them.
Video: Tips for winter
Video: Qigong exercises for winter
Enjoy! Working on 2nd draft of my book and going to be doing some classes in the next few weeks/months.
December 15th 6-7pm ongoing Taiji/Qigong class at Keystone Studios 252 W. 30th St. 4th Floor NYC.
December 17th 12-4:15pm Self Protection Class for Practitioners 4 NCCAOM PDAs pending for Practice Enhancement at CRS 123 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor NYC
January 29th 12-2pm Ethics and Boundaries: Crossings vs. Violations Online Class for Pacific Center for Life Long Learning 2 Required Ethics PDA’s pending.
February 16th Free Intro on Medical Qigong: The Ba Duan Jin-Eight Pieces of Brocades at NY Open Center 22 E. 30th Street, NYC
January and February a Weekend and a Wednesday Afternoon Clinical Counseling 3 Class at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine NY, 110 William St., 19th Floor, NYC
May 5th - 7th Qigong Plus- Dimos School of Intuitive Arts, Red Barn, Catskills, NY
June 3rd – 4th Qigong Plus- Dimos School of Intuitive Arts, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada