Lets talk COLD weather lifestyle health.
The Cold is hitting us quickly and inconsistently which makes it hard for the body to cope with and Im already seeing an increase in pain and decrease to peoples range of motion in my clinic.
Cold in Chinese Medicine, causes the energy to descend and go deeply. Like the tree leaves that fall in the cooling autumn and the blood retreating from our hands on the cold days, or ourselves heading in doors to close curtains and make hot soup.This is the natural way we (and our qi) respond to Cold.
Its other effect is on slowing and stopping the flow of qi and blood... we see this in nature when the new sprouts of plants stop growing and the water freezes. Things stop moving with Cold and this is how it causes diseases in our body. Primarily when things stop flowing in our body we feel pain. Pain and Cold are closely related in Chinese Medicine.
Cold can come into the meridian from the environment and give us a stiff sore neck (perhaps overnight if we have left the window open), or it can linger long term in the joints if we have spent years being regularly exposed to cold weather (thats us Ballarat!) and perhaps eat a cooling type of diet.. Cold is theorised in Chinese Medicine to also enter the body via surgery (think gynecological as well). And with cooling foods (salads, juices, dairy and chilled drinks).
So how do we protect against this? Well now is a crucial time. Our qi and blood has not yet become accustomed to the Cold so we might need to be a little more conscious about what we wear, eat and how we live for a month or so. Be natural... if you feel Cold put more clothes on! Actually better still, put more clothes on before you feel Cold. Sounds simple but people tend to tough it out or ignore their Cold bodies... especially keep your neck and shoulders, low back and feet warm. This will protect some very vulnerable areas.
Your diet can shift now as well. Purchase some warming herbs, ginger root sliced into your tea or hot water, turmeric root in some of your rice dishes and the rest of the warming spices (pepper, cinnamon, chilli, garlic, basil) find recipes to show them some limelight.
Ditch the salads and juices they cool the body...they're good in summer. Root vegies are great for cold, they store there qi deeply from the earth so will support this for you and also winter is the time naturally to eat a little more red meat. Plus the way you cook helps too; its slow cooks, soup and roasting season, yay!
Finally do less.. let your qi start to plunge deeper by doing less. Activity causes qi to move outward. Spend more time with your very closest friends and family and importantly with yourself.