By Rachel Kriger, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
When kids or grown ups come into my office, we talk about how making small additions or shifts to our lifestyle can have a HUGE impact on how we feel and really enhance our wellbeing every single day.
As the air cools down and we prepare for the Winter here are my top 10 suggestions for staying healthy this coming season.
Yours in Wellness,
Rachel Kriger, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
10) In this dark time of year, we have access to deep wisdom and infinite potential. The seeds lie on the cold ground waiting patiently for their time to germinate. We too can be aware of all possibilities and practice patience and faith in this time of unknowing
9) Give and ask for reassurance. Winter can be a fearful time. Some fears are wise, and some are paralyzing. If you have a fear that no longer serves, know that you can transform it by declaring your courage as you move into the unknown. You can do it!
8) Drink plenty of warm water & keep your belly warm. In this cold time of year, drink hot or warm water. And, if you are sensitive to the cold weather, wear a haramaki (a garment worn around the lower abdomen and back) to keep your vital organs warm and your blood circulating.
7) On cold days eat warm hearty soups, whole grains, small dark beans, seaweed, steamedgreens, and roasted or soaked nuts. Cook most foods for a long time on a low heat. Eat moderately salty foods and small amounts of bitter foods. If you tend to be cold, use warming and pungent spices such as garlic, onions and hot peppers.
6) Go to bed early and wait for the light of the sun to get up. If you need to wake up before that, make time to relax and/or take a nap if you are tired in the afternoon.
5) Continue autumn’s practice of dwelling in your body as a sensory being. You can meditate anywhere, any time and in any position by noticing your breath, thoughts and sensations. (Take three deep breaths… Go ahead try it right now!)
4) Practice listening. Did you know that your listening is a gift? Make time to offer someone the gift of your listening. Often, we are tempted to give advice, or respond in some way. Instead, just listen. If you want to respond, wait until the person stops talking. Then use your own words to tell him or her what you heard. Then ask, “Did I get it?” If not, he or she will explain again. Once you got it, ask, “Is there anything else?” and so on. When s/he feels heard, you can thank him or her for sharing.
3) Ask someone to give you the gift of his or her listening. Explain the practice described above. Once you feel heard, you can give thanks for his or her listening.
2) Use your energy reserves wisely. Most of nature’s noises are quiet or silenced now. It is a great time for us to practice this way of being. Notice when you are tired, and honor the wisdom of your body. Rather than ignoring this wisdom to continue doing the task at hand, take a minute to be still and quiet. Then return to the doing. Repeat as necessary. Your body will thank you.
1) Pay attention to your unique body. In the winter, focus on your bones and kidneys. Bones are the most solid and dense part of you. Breath is on the other end of that spectrum. While your bones are uniquely yours, your breath is shared with all of life. Your kidneys grasp the breath and hold the essence that connects you to your ancestors and to your uniqueness as you walk your destiny between heaven and earth. What a miracle it is to be an irreplaceable part of this great oneness!