How To Use My Top Five Easy Winter Health Tips For Women - Dana LaVoie, LAc

How To Use My Top Eight Easy Winter Health Tips For Women

What’s the big deal with adjusting your diet & lifestyle seasonally?


Well, Chinese medicine says it’s one of the biggest secrets to longevity, healthy aging, and happiness. (Worth it if it works right?) 


The idea is… Look out the window, see what nature is doing, and copy it.  Nature is giving you the best winter health tips for women!  But that’s just a little too poetic.  


So, in this article you’ll find practical tips on how to use this knowledge to maximize physical & mental health, slow down aging, improve hormonal balance, and maximize creativity, joy, & plain old happiness. 

What can we take advantage of in fall & winter?

The replenishing

Winter is all about the Water element, rejuvenation, and turning back the clock


The Water element includes the kidneys & bladder.  Kidneys store “essence.” The more essence you have the younger you look and feel  - at any age. 


Stress, injury, illness, and business all deplete the kidney essence. 


We draw from and deplete our essence all the time - every time we overbook ourselves or burn the candle at both ends or deal with a lot of stress… 


And we forget to replenish.


But Chinese medicine loves to be very proactive about also replenishing this essence. 

And winter is THE BEST time to do this. So it’s a huge opportunity when it comes to replenishing.  


Replenishing essence feeds your hormones, brain, spinal cord, bones, teeth, bone marrow, hair, hearing, libido, and sexual fluids. 


Fear & anxiety can damage the kidneys 

Fear is the emotion related to the kidneys and can damage the kidneys.  Conversely, if the kidneys are out of balance, you can be more prone to fear, anxiety, and SAD - all of which tend to get worse in winter. 


Cold can damage the kidneys The kidneys are very susceptible to damage by COLD. 

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Winter rejuvenation tips: How to maximize replenishing Kidney essence & balancing the Water element in Winter

Practical Tips For Replenishing

Diet

1.

Hydration:  It's the water element so... Stay well hydrated.  Drink water (but not cold water.)  Avoid diuretics like very strong coffee (try a chai tea latte with warming spices instead.) 

2.

Avoid certain foods:  Avoid cold, raw, and "heavy" foods.  Heavy foods are things that take a lot of energy to digest or tend to take longer to digest.  Things tend to stagnate in winter anyway, so we want to help keep everything moving.  So, less sugar, deep fried food, bread, overly salty food, and hot chili peppers. 

3.

Eat more of other foods:  Foods that take less work to digest.  Foods that cook for a longer time at a lower temperature, root vegetables, and pungent herbs & spices are the best.


Here's the list of best foods for winter: 

Soup, stew, casseroles, porridge of any kind, root vegetables (yams, potatoes, carrots,) beans, cabbage, steamed winter greens, mushrooms, black sesame seeds, goji berries, seafood, meat, walnuts, and nut oils.


Pungent herbs & spices are also great: Scallions, garlic, ginger, & cinnamon.  (If you're having lots of hot flashes skip the cinnamon and use fresh not dried ginger.) 


If SAD is an issue - harmonize the all important relationship between the water element and the fire element with rose bud or rose petal tea, rosehip jam, beets, strawberries, hawthorne tea, cherries, melon, and citrus. 


Try goji berry tea (add fresh ginger if your hands and feet are cold) and my Chaga hot chocolate, which is sooo good, great for the immune system, and uplifting to the mood. 


Lifestyle.  There are some really fun ways here to replenish your Kidney essence.  It's like recharging your batteries

1.

Sleep:  It’s darker for longer.  Take the hint and spend a little more time in bed, even if it’s just going to bed 30 minutes earlier and getting up 30 minutes later (if you can) or not setting the alarm on the weekend.  Pretend sleep is your new hobby.  Make it the best quality sleep you can.  ​Learn all my favorite good sleep habits in this blog post.  

2.

Diffuse warming essential oils:  Some of my favorites are rose, sandalwood, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon, wintergreen, geranium, and rosewood.

3.

Relax:  What an idea right?  Make more time than usual for snuggling by the fire. Watch a movie - let your mind wander..  


Your deepest inner self is closest to the surface this time of year.  It's a great time to find the ways you've been holding on to negative emotions & patterns and let them go - making space for the new.  Keep a journal.


New ideas are forming deep inside this time of year!  All your best work for next year is germinating now.  


Give it some time and space to grow.  Listen for hints as to what it will be.  It’s not quite time to act on it - but take some notes. 


We’re not talking total hibernation here, however.  If you want to spend one weekend in a blanket fort - fine.  But most days - get your energy moving too. See #4 exercise for the best way to do this in winter. 


4.

Protect your wind points Keep your neck, shoulders, and low back warm every time you go out in the cold.  Even wear a scarf partially covering your nose & mouth if it's very cold or damp.  This is one of the best ways to stay healthy in winter.  Combine this with a few immune modulating Chinese herbs, and you'll have your best winter ever! 


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Learn to master your hormones naturally with my comprehensive guide:  4 Steps To Get Out Of Menopause Overwhelm 
5.

The right kind of exercise  A brisk walk in nature is great.  But if you usually walk early in the morning or late in the evening - see if you can change it to lunchtime when it's brightest & lightest out.


Best exercise for winter:  Walking, yoga, barre 3, pilates, qigong...  These are all exercise that's warming and strengthening for your core. 

Do less of this kind of exercise in winter:  Hard core cardio.  For cardio do more squats and lunges that also strengthen the core.


Qi Gong exercises for winter: 

Kidney massage: Make a fist with your thumb inside your fingers.  Place your fists behind you with the backs of your hands over your kidneys at the back of your waist.  Take one big breath IN then as you exhale firmly rub your hands in circles on your back 8 times while bouncing up and down on your toes.  Repeat 3 times. 

You can watch a video here on how to do these two exercises they're in the Eight Silken Brocade Qi Gong Video


Conclusion? 

Use these winter health tips for women to customize your diet & lifestyle to take advantage of the rejuvenating potential of winter.  


By living in harmony with the seasons you'll also be less prone to fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, digestive upset, colds, and flu.


And you'll  find when spring comes your full of creative new ideas and ready to do your best creative or productive work ever, whether that's playing with the grandkids, running a marathon, gardening, writing a book, or leading with vision. 


Questions?  Comments?  Let's chat!  Put your comments in the comments are below, and join me on Facebook for a live video chat each week about what's going on here on the blog. 


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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/

Dana LaVoie, LAc

Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist & Herbalist with over 15 years' experience specializing in women's health. I'm here to show you how to use customized Chinese Herbs supported by the best diet and lifestyle for your hormones to feel amazing during & after menopause.

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