Board Certified Acupuncturist
and Integrative & Holistic Medicine
NORTH COUNTRY HOLISTIC CARE CENTER
FALL INTO WINTER WELLNESS!
As we move through Fall into Winter and get our homes and cars ready for the rigors of this beautiful but sometimes challenging season, it is important to take time to "Winterize" ourselves as well. Traditional Chinese medicine and other healing traditions view the change of season as a taxing time for the body (and sometimes the spirit!). These traditions tell us that our bodies' defenses are down at this time of the year and that this makes us more vulnerable to illness and depletion. Attention to self care is considered to be particularly important during this time and includes emphasis on measures that will sustain our and our families health throughout the Fall and Winter.
How Can We "Winterize" Ourselves?
CAREFUL NUTRITION - As Winter approaches the Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions tell us that it is important to eat more warming foods and avoid or reduce cold and raw foods. Soups, stews, curries, chilis and warming spices such as ginger and turmeric are therapeutic as well as delicious. These foods supply us with the energy we need and are fabulous at supporting our immune system. Dairy and particularly cold dairy such as ice cream are best avoided or kept to a minimum during the colder months. .
ADEQUATE REST - Rest becomes even more important as our bodies adjust to the changing day length. Although the requirement for sleep varies somewhat with the individual, 7 to 8 hours is adequate for most adults with children and teens requiring about 10 hours. It is through sleep that every cell in our body is renewed. Try to establish a regular "to bed" time. In general, earlier to bed and earlier to rise is a good rule of thumb. Reducing exposure to bright lighting in the hours before bed allows our bodies to prepare for sleep. Our systems can become confused by late evening exposure to the bright lights of TV and computers. It is important to sleep in total darkness in order for the important hormone, melatonin to be released. Lack of melatonin has been linked to a number of health problems including breast cancer. Minimizing disturbing stimuli such as violent TV shows or movies close to bedtime is beneficial. A warm bath before bed can be helpfu as well. If you have difficulty sleeping and many people do, especially menopausal women, there are herbal and homeopathic remedies which can be helpful. In general, prescription sleep agents are to be avoided except for short term use to "reset" the sleep cycle. These agents tend to be habit forming and research indicates that the quality and pattern of sleep is not normal - thus the user may not be getting the full benefit of a natural night's sleep. Our office has herbal remedies and instruction on guided relaxation available.
MANAGING STRESS - Our lives these days tend to be busy and crowded with responsibilities and to do lists. Stress affects all ages from children who must cope with an increasingly full schedule of classes, sports and social activities to parents who often work and try to juggle home, business and the pressures of parenting. To this already full plate add the rush and hectic pace of the Holiday season. A sure recipe for overwhelm! So how do we defuse? One important action to remember is to put ourselves on the list. If we don't care for ourselves we won't be able to care for anyone else. Spend some time to think about what nurtures you, what recharges you. It may be a walk outside in nature, dinner and a movie, time spent in prayer or meditation, a massage or a facial. Make a llist and aim to include one or several "rechargers" in your week. Acupuncture can be a very effective destressor and works to bring the body back into balance.
EXERCISE - Exercise is a crucial part of self care. Even if you don't have a gym membership, we are fortunate enough to live in an area that offers opportunity for indoor and outdoor activities. Exercise, particularly during this season, should not be done to exhaustion. (Good news for many of us!) Research has recently shown that overly strenous exercise actually accelerates aging whereas moderate exercise (in the range of about 30 minutes of brisk walking daily) and some form of resistance training which can be as simple as working out at home with some weights, gets you the benefits of exercise with a minimum of wear and tear on the body. Also, getting outside in the light helps prevent seasonal affective disorder, or the "Winter Blues."
DETOXIFY - Unpleasant as it is to contemplate, we are surrounded by toxins in our air, food, water, household products, skin care products and even through the "new" form of pollution, emf, electromagnetic frequency waves from cell phones, microwaves and other electrical appliances. It is vital to our wellbeing to minimize toxic exposure whenever and wherever possible. Choose organic, minimallly processed foods whenever possible. Familiarize yourself with the foods that tend to carry a high toxic burden due to pesticide residue, such as berries and potatoes, and the foods that are generally okay to eat in "non organic" form such as brocoli and bananas. The Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org is a website with a wealth of information on avoiding environmental toxins. You will also find a link to The Cosmetic Safety Database on their website where you can look up virtually any soap, shampoo or skincare product to see what is actually in it and what the dangers are. You can then make informed choices regarding the products you choose . At North Country Holistic we have been concerned for years about the toxins in skin care products, particularly the carcinogens such as pthalates and parabens. Our luxurious and effective Facial Rejuvenating Treatment uses only organic, non-toxic products. The Eminence skin care line we feature (www.eminenceorganics.com) is one of the few truly certified organic lines available.
North Country Holistic Care Center offers Primary Care Services, Acupuncture and Holistic consultations and treatment and has Licensed Therapeutic Massage Services available.
Please visit our website, www.NorthCountryHolistic.com to learn more about our Practice and Services.
Gift Certificates are available for Acupuncture, Massage and Laser therapy Services.
NORTH COUNTRY HOLISTIC CARE CENTER 745-5889
Find ways to restore yourself, mind, body and spirit throughout the Holiday Season: For the ultimate in relaxation and restoration try one of our pampering and pure organic facials.
"Let food be our medicine and medicine our food" said Socrates and it couldn't be more true today. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the culinary spices and herbs supports all the important functions of the body and is especially important to support the immune system through the change of season and into the Winter months.
north country holistic