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Traditional Chinese Medicine Wellness Tips for Fall

#1  Wear A Scarf

If you have seen Sarah, she may have told you to “ keep your neck warm” especially after cupping. That is because the upper back and neck are known as the “wind gate “ in TCM. This is a vulnerable area of the body, and when exposing it to the elements can make us sick or susceptible to frequent colds. So if you want to protect yourself from catching colds, covering up is a simple preventative measure to protect against cold and flu season. 

#2 Nourish Your Insides!

As the air gets cold and dry, it’s super helpful to keep our insides warm, with warming and nourishing foods this time of year is super important.

Raw veggies are cooling in nature, but lightly steaming them or cooking with ginger, onion and garlic will warm them up- and you, from the inside out. It’s time to put the salads and raw foods away, and instead bust out the crock-pot to cook up some soups and stews.

If you want to up the ante, dabble with some warming spices too – like cardamom, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Not too much of course, but just enough to spice up your life a little.

See below one of Sarah’s favorite recipes for Braised Chicken Stew, that will be sure to warm you up and leave you feeling nourished.

Braised Chicken Stew

#3 Boost Your Immune System!

During the fall it is important to boost our immune systems. With the changing weather, kids back to school, spending more time indoors ect, we are more susceptible to catch colds and flu.

To boost your immune system this autumn try dabbling with herbal infusions and tinctures. Some of my favorite immune enhancers this time of year are astragalus, echinacea, and cordyceps.

Some of my favorite herbs and spices to cook with in the fall are Garlic and ginger that can easily be added to many recipes, especially soups and stews.

Favorite foods that can also help boost your immune system are citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms. These are high in Vitamin C and other important vitamins and minerals that are essential to our immune systems.

Drink Green tea! Green tea has many health benefits above and beyond helping the immune system. So instead of grabbing that second cup of coffee , reach for the green tea.

#4 Breathe Deeply

One of the best, most simple ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply. Breathing deeply can improve memory, energy levels and the immune system. With each breath trillions of cells are being washed with oxygen vital to all bodily functions.

One of my favorite (and simplest) ways to exercise my lungs is to use a 

4 part breath. With this breathing technique you want to think of a breath cycle as having 4 parts – the inhale, a pause, the exhale, another pause. In this way a single breath becomes quite spacious.

Then slow your breathing down so that one breath cycle takes about 15 seconds to complete (i.e. 4 breaths per minute). Continue breathing deeply into your belly like this for 3-5 minutes each day

#5 Slow Down, Nourish Your Yin

Summer was all about yang. It was expansiveness, activity, movement, and it was hot. With the days getting cooler and shorter, naturally our internal cycles are swinging into yin mode. To be yin is to be quiet, slow and introspective. Going to bed earlier will nourish your yin. As the plants turn their energy downward from their leaves into their roots, so too should we start focusing on our roots. Take time for yourself, slow down , enjoy a movie snuggled on the couch , sleep in , read a book, or quiet your mind.

#6 Practice Letting Go

Strengthening your lungs will reinforce your ability to let go of things that no longer serve you, from your mental closet, to your clothing closet. Just as leaves fall from their branches, so too can your attachments, making room for regrowth and regeneration for you and your plants.

The emotions associated with the lungs are sadness and grief. You may notice feeling more melancholic at this time of year.

The best way to stay healthy according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is to live harmoniously with each season. If we are to be in harmony with the spirit of fall we should be slowing down, getting to bed earlier, covering up, eating warmer foods, and moving inward. 

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Unit 105, 8741 - 84 Street                          587-285-441                                Monday: 9 am - 8:30 pm

Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 3M0                                     Tuesday - Thursday: 8 am - 8:30 pm

                                                                                                              Friday: 9 am - 8:30 pm

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