The days are getting shorter, colder, and wetter. With the fall chill in the air, it’s important to consider how we can warm and healthy.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) autumn is an important time to focus on lung and large intestine health. It’s also a season for letting go and transition. There can be emotional aspects involved in the new season as we begin to experience less sunlight and colder weather. TCM works with individuals to improve their health through these cool months.
Five Warming Techniques
Traditional Chinese Medicine encourages people to stay warm through these colder seasons. Here are five warming techniques you can use to naturally bring warmth into your life and boost your immune system.
1. Dress for the weather
Many Portlanders will wear shorts and a t-shirt and even sandals if the sun is in the sky - even if it’s windy and chilly outdoors. It’s time to pack those summer clothes away and put on seasonally appropriate clothes. Scarves are important in Traditional Chinese Medicine as cold can easily enter through acupressure points in the neck. So, consider adding a scarf to your outfit on cold or windy days.
2. Take deep breaths
There are so many health benefits to taking deep breaths. These include:
Natural stress relief
Warming you from inside-out
Slowing your heart rate
Warming up with deep breathing can be done with your usual deep breaths, or by using specific techniques like ujjayi breath (used in vinyasa and hatha yoga) or the kapalabhati breath.
3. Enjoy the steam before digging into hot soups, stews, broths, and teas
One excellent way to enjoy warm foods like soup or tea is to breathe in the delicious steam before diving into your meal or sipping your drink. That steam can help to soothe your lungs and throat, excite your taste buds, thin mucus, and increase blood flow. If you are feeling a bit under-the-weather, breathe in that steam!
4. Eat warming spices
Many of the seasonal spices that scream “fall” to many of us are very warming. These include:
Add these delicious spices to your meals and enjoy their warming effects!
5. Explore moxibustion
Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that promotes warmth, helps to treat common seasonal illnesses, and begins the healing process with stagnant conditions. This technique is used commonly in China during this time of year to protect against cold.
If you are interested in exploring moxibustion, acupuncture, or herbal remedies, contact AOM Health today!