Acpuncture and tips to stay healthy this winter!

It is that time of year, cold season has arrived. Although it is not officially winter yet until winter solstice, it has become a bit chilly. That means it is time to bundle up, eat nice warm foods, and cuddle up next to a fire.

Traditional Chinese medicine regards winter as a time of reflection, meditation and receptivity, but thinking of winter one recalls family gatherings, holiday parties and big bold foods.  Colds and flu are not far behind.

Here are some tips to stay healthy this winter season:
• Mange stress
• Reduce anxiety
• Enhance your sleep patterns
• Dress warmly and always make sure the back of your neck is covered
• Eat warm hearty soups and refrain from cold and raw foods
• Take your supplements (vitamin C & D are good for the immune system). Chinese herbs will also help with immune system and help with the acute onset of colds and flu.

Herbal Remedy for colds:

Miso Soup (Serves 4)

Ingredients:
* 6 cups water
* 3-4 Tablespoons Aka Miso or red soy bean paste (usually sold in the refrigerated section)
* 3-5 green onions stalks, chopped

Directions:
* Dissolve the miso in a little bit of boiling water (about 2 tsp.)
* Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add the miso & scallions.
* Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
* Remove from heat top with green onions and serve.

Variations: you can add various other ingredients to make a more substantial soup, such as tofu, seaweed, fresh mushrooms, cooked shrimp, snow pea sprouts, cooked rice noodles, or paper-thin slices of fresh ginger.

Some examples of foods for cold winter days include seaweed, dark colored beans, turnips, carrots, celery, asparagus, rye, oats, quinoa and amaranth.

Winter according to Chinese medicine:

Element: Water
Nature: Yin
Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears and Hair