All too often, we hear about a sort of “war” between Western medicine and traditional Eastern remedies. Many health experts choose to get behind one and denounce the other – which is highly counterproductive, as both have important functions and benefits.
Because of this familiar divide, it is highly encouraging to see
doctors who are embracing the medicines of the West and the East, and
integrating both into their practice. This has a world of benefits for
patients, who are then given more options, and more knowledge, to better
navigate their health.
One such doctor is Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, a family medicine and
integrative medicine physician and professor at Loyola University in
Chicago. In a recent publication, Dr. Michelfelder recommends some of
the principles of traditional Chinese medicine to help us thrive during
the cold season.
Dr. Michelfelder states, “traditional Chinese medicine teaches us to
live in harmony with the seasons to protect our health. Making certain
adjustments to our diet, sleep regimen and lifestyle will make us more
in sync with nature and better equipped to cope with the plunging
Along with eating less, due to reduced physical activity in the
winter months, Dr. Michelfelder recommends warming foods and herbs.
These include foods such as hearty soups and stews, made with grass-fed
meats, sweet potatoes, spicy peppers and winter squash. To keep you nice
and toasty, make a big pot of one of these great immunity-boosting soups.
few of the warming herbs that Dr. Michelfelder recommends include
garlic, ginger and cinnamon. Cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper are
three more great options. Use these liberally to season your meals, or
add to teas and smoothies, for antioxidant power plus a boost of warmth.
Dr. Michelfelder also recommends getting more sleep – nine to ten
hours instead of seven to eight. This, he explains, is dictated by
traditional Chinese medicine, because the days are shorter, and the
nights naturally longer to allow for more rest. Getting enough downtime is also important, he says, and meditation can help slow our minds to get into the groove.
Feeling the winter blues already? Try these fun winter exercise ideas to get you moving and out of that slump.
-The Alternative Daily