Chinese medicine tips for Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year, that is.  Today marks the first day of the Chinese calendar and the official start to the year of the dragon.  In honor of the holiday, Dr. Gina Lepore, head of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's (PCOM) New York campus and Vice President of the NY State Board for Acupuncture, has a list of traditional Chinese medicine techniques to keep you healthy during the winter months.


    <b>Tip #1:  Keep the back of your neck covered</b>

    “In addition to hands nose and mouth, there are points on the back of the neck that are particularly vulnerable to cold and wind.  When you expose these areas you reduce your resistance to pathogenic factors,” Lepore said.

    <b>Tip #2: Keep your feet warm</b>

    The warmer your feet, the warmer you are overall, allowing your body to conserve more energy. “Wearing socks to bed during the winter can allow the body to sleep more soundly.  Soaking your feet in hot water can contribute to sound sleep and overall health as well,” Lepore said.

    <b>Tip #3:  Ditch the raw foods and eat more cooked cuisine</b>

    Dr. Lepore suggests soups, stews, and black beans to strengthen the immune system. “Hearty foods that grow under the ground, like potatoes, are strengthening during the winter as well,” Lepore said.

    <b>Tip #4:  Spice things up!</b>

    Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and pepper are good for circulation.

    <b>Tip #5:  Be a tea drinker </b>

    “Fresh ginger tea made by boiling slices of raw ginger, can ward off colds and (influenza),” Lepore said.

    <b>Tip #6:  Treat your face to some acu-pressure</b>

    To prevent sinus congestion, put pressure on the inner edge of the eye-brows, the bridge and the sides of the nose, and below the cheek bones.

    <b>Tip #7:  Give your hands and feet a good massage</b>

    Doing acu-pressure on the soles of your feet and the palms or your hands can help revitalize your energy. “Massaging these points is like massaging the channels that lead to and warm the heart and kidney systems that are vital to ideal function,” Lepore said.

    <b>Tip #8:  Get some rest</b>

    Winter is a much quieter season than the others.  Maintain good balance and conserve energy by getting the proper amount of sleep this time of year.

    <b>Tip #9:  Don’t hesitate – meditate</b>

    “A connection to a sense of depth or a power greater than yourself (whether religion, nature, or beauty) can help to combat mild seasonal affective disorder,” Lepore said. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) consists of depressive symptoms experienced during a specific time of year, typically winter.

    <b>Tip #10:  Poke some holes in winter illness</b>

    “Acupuncture can treat common winter symptoms from arthritis and pain and stiffness related to cold weather, fatigue, fertility challenges, unusual hair loss, impotence and low libido, kidney disorders, knee problems, leg and foot pain, Sciatica, and more,” Lepore said.
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