The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy, and conserve our strength.
Winter represents the most Yin aspect within Chinese medicine. Yin is the dark, cold, slow, inward energy. This contrasts with the Yang of Summer whose energy represents light, hot, quick, expansive qualities. Winter is ruled by the water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands. According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the source of all Qi within the body.
It is believed that the kidneys hold our body’s most basic and fundamental energy. By harmonizing oneself with the seasons you can stay healthier and prevent disease, so Winter is a good time to strengthen the kidneys and this can be done with TCM treatment.
TCM Treatment to Protect Qi
Acupuncture can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and for consolidating the outer defence layers of the skin and muscle so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.
One particularly important point to attend to is Du 14. Located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately at the level where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck. Du 14 activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defence layers of the skin and muscle so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them. This point is often used to ward off, as well as shorten, the duration of colds and flu.
Using fine, silicone-coated and polished needles helps to make the insertion painless for patients. To explore our premium acupuncture needle range, click here.
During the winter months, it is imperative to protect the defensive Qi and expel pathogens to help treat cold/flu symptoms and boost the immune system. If the body is not strong enough to combat external pathogens and external wind, it is likely that we will fall ill. We are recently recommended some essential herbal formulas to help fight the flu – find out more.
Additionally, preventive formulas are also essential for winter. We have developed three preventative herbal formulas that contain a combination of Qi boosting and damp clearing herbs as the virus thrives in cold and damp climates. As the UK and western Europe have a colder climate, we require warming herbs to clear cold and dampness, especially now as the weather is changing. There is a formula to suit each individual, depending on their body constitutions, to help boost the immune system and protect against viruses. Explore the formulas.
In TCM, we believe that the diet and activities in Winter should be adapted to enriching yin and subduing yang.
Avoid raw foods during the winter as much as possible, as these tend to cool the body. TCM focuses on expelling pathogens by having broth-based soups and warm liquids. During winter you should emphasize warming foods:
- Soups and stews
- Root vegetables
- Miso and seaweed
- Garlic and ginger
Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished. A nice hot cup of tea can also make you feel better in winter and functional herbal teas can even be beneficial to your health. Our Aura herbal tea range includes 9 teas to benefit your body in different ways. In the colder months, why not try Pure EnergyT for a caffeine-free boost or DigestiveT to promote a healthy and happy metabolism.
Simply, sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy!
Disclaimer: Please note that this information is intended for qualified healthcare professionals only. If you are a patient, please consult your practitioner for a diagnosis as these recommendations may not be suitable for you. If you would like us to recommend a practitioner who uses Phoenix Medical products, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist you.