The season of winter is a time of repair and rejuvenation. Read more below on the TOP ways to keep energy and vitality up during the Winter time!
Five Self-care Tips for Winter
During the winter, we tend to go into “hibernation” mode.
Think warm fuzzy socks, fireplace, and coffee!
How can we keep up our motivation, energy, and self-care during the cold winter months?
Here are some ways to boost self-care during the winter:
1. Get some rest
The season of winter is a time of repair and rejuvenation. In acupuncture theory, winter is associated with the kidneys, which hold the body’s fundamental energies. Rest is important for revitalizing the kidneys.This is why some animals hibernate during the winter months. We should also spend more time resting during the winter months to help prepare our bodies for the months ahead when most people expend more energy.
2. Find a sauna
Doing daily or 3-5 days a week sauna sessions is an excellent way to spark health during the winter. Sauna sessions can be from 10-30 minutes (and on), to help open the detox pathways, increase circulation, boost energy and immune system function. It is best to work-up to longer sauna sessions and make sure to hydrate, before, after, and during your session!
Read our previous article here on the benefits of using a sauna.
3. Drink water, lots of water
As it gets colder outside, we often do not think about drinking water but it is the time we need it the most! The kidneys are closely associated and ruled by the water element, which is the element associated with winter, so it is important to remember to drink water during wintertime. Drinking room temperature water is a vital step to maintaining sufficient kidney qi throughout the winter months. If you are doing exercise and sauna therapy, best to increase your water intake an extra 16-32 ounces depending on activity level (in addition to the recommended requirement, half your body weight in ounces of water a day).
4. Eat warm, seasonal foods
Food is medicine
Choose foods that grow naturally during the winter. Items such as squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, root vegetables like beets, greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and cabbage are great. During the winter months, cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided as they will deplete the immune system. There are also foods that specifically target and nourish the kidneys, including kidney beans, beef, goose, duck, black beans, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, walnuts, quinoa, asparagus, celery, onion, fennel, scallions, cloves, watercress and turnips. Sea salt is also helpful, because salty is the taste associated with the kidneys. As with anything, moderation is key. Too much salt can actually tax the heart, which then causes the kidneys to work overtime.
Get Dr. Ellie’s online course, Autumn Nutrition for a complete guide to what to eat for the seasons, here!
5. Treat Yo’ Self…to some acupuncture!
Acupuncture utilizes numerous modalities and tools to help keep the body balanced and prepped for the seasonal changes. Sticking to your acupuncture treatment plan prescribed by your acupuncturist can help to keep energy up, decrease pain and inflammation, and maintain good sleep during the winter.
Time to get your acupuncture on!
Give our office a call, (425) 686-4498 to schedule your consult today at our Bothell Office!
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Tagged In: acupuncture, anti-inflammatory diet, detox, fatigue, hydration, insomnia, metabolism, pain management, sauna, wellness, whole foods, winter
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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