Staying Healthy This Winter

It’s happening. The mornings are crisp. The leaves are changing. We’ve even had a couple of good frosts! It’s a good time to implement a few small changes stay healthy this winter.

Eat seasonally. mostly what you’d find at the farmers market. Skip the salads, and fruit of summer and start to make more roasted root vegetables, and soups. This food will support your body in transitioning to fall and winter.

Stay warm. Your body is adjusting to the new season. Circulation patterns change, your metabolism changes. Take an extra moment to grab a scarf, wear a jacket or pull on a hat. It will keep your lymphatic and circulatory systems working better through the transition of the seasons, which is how your immune system fights off bugs. There’s even some research that illustrates that keeping your body temperature up, helps your immune system function better.

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Seriously. Wear a hat.

 

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Soup’s on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get more sleep. It’s natural & healthy to want to hibernate as the days get shorter. Go to bed a little earlier, and skip the early-morning wake-up. This is a great time to start to slow down and take more time to rest.  (Check out last year’s seasonal blog “It’s Time for a Nap”) Recover from the busy, hot summer, and get ready for what can be a stressful holiday season.

Consider adding some supplements. Elderberry has been shown to be extremely effective for cold and flu prevention; extract it at home from fresh  or grab elderberry extract at the grocery or health-food store (Roanoke Co-op, Earth Fare and Nature’s Outlet will all have it). High dose vitamin D3 can also benefit mood, energy and immunity this time of year. Start with 5000 IUs daily and see how you feel!

Wash your hands. All. The. Time. Hand sanitizer is an okay substitute, but the safest, gentlest way, is good-old-fashioned soap. This also prevents creating strains of treatment-resistant bacteria with ‘anti bacterial’ products.

Get regular acupuncture. One of the easiest ways to keep your stress levels low and your immune function high is through regular acupuncture.

And if you do get sick, it’s okay. Getting a cold is also healthy, in its own way! Your body is mounting the appropriate response. Come in for acupuncture at the first sign and we can make the cold shorter, milder and get you back to feeling good quickly! We may even send you with some herbs.

BRAIN(s) and how to use them

Health care decisions are difficult. It can feel overwhelming & confusing. There’s pressure to act quickly. And many times there’s conflicting information out there! My dear friends at Third Coast Birth & Family introduced me to an acronym used for making decisions during pregnancy and even in the heat of labor that I want to share with y’all: BRAIN

 

When faced with a decision, ask yourself:

What are the benefits? Does this meet my goals and desires? What’s the best-case scenario? Is there evidence to support this?

What are the risks? What’s the worst-case scenario? Does that outweigh the potential benefits? Is there evidence to support this?

What are my alternatives? Do I have other options? Do I need to seek out other providers to find out what those might be (get a second opinion)? Do some of the other options have a better benefit/risk relationship?

What does my intuition tell me? What’s my gut saying? Sleep on it. See what settles in your mind and body after mulling the decision over.

And what happens if I do nothing? Is waiting and seeing a good option? Does this decision have to be made immediately? More information might arise and the path may become clearer.

This little acronym can help slow down and give some order to decisions that have far-reaching consequences. It also moves the decision-making from the provider, back to YOU. The person. It’s your body, your health, your decision to make. No matter how strongly presented, a treatment plan from even the most esteemed doctor, researcher, chiropractor, acupuncturist, etc. is just a suggestion. It’s their best theory as to what will work for you.  That decision can have a lot of factors: clinical experience, current research, cost, rules and regulations of their location (i.e. hospitals, clinics, etc), insurance coverage, education, the current standard of care for any given diagnosis, availability of accurate diagnostics… and even less desirable things like bias, stereotyping, burn-out, etc. It’s a lot. So remember it’s not carved in stone and there are usually more options than you think to any given issue.

And truly, this little gem could help with any important decision-making. Test it out. Lemme know what you think.

 -Alex

https://fireandwaterholistichealth.com/

Foot Soak Happy Hour

by: Alex Watkins

I’ve got a new (old) way to take your herbs that is much less yucky and much more soothing: foot soaks.  Foot soaks have been used traditionally for a long time as a way to boost your health and as an easy, pleasant way to utilize the healing properties of plants.  I’ve been super impressed with a line of Tibetan Foot Soaks that we have started using at Queenpin Family Wellness.   They are basically extra large tea bags, filled with crushed herbs (to be discussed later) that you steep to make a foot soak.  The process is easy and relaxing and I’m finding the results to be great.  We even had a trial run of our new Foot Soak Happy Hour, where we had snacks, laughs, and relaxed while letting the herbs and warm water work their magic!

Starting next month, March 28th, we are hosting a Foot Soak Happy Hour the last Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm – 6:30pm in our comfortable community acupuncture room.  We will have snacks, tea, wine and (most importantly) soaks waiting to get you through the week!  Tickets are $35 and spaces are limited.  RSVP and purchase your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foot-soak-happy-hour-tickets-43488659752

 

To read this in it’s entirety please click here to go to Alex’s blog!

Mulled Lemonade

 

 

Cool down these hot summer days will a little twist! It’s easy and tasty, two of my favorite things. Try some Mulled Lemonade and wow your friends with your creativity:
5 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 oz mulling spices


Directions:
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the sugar and mulling spices. Cover and allow the simple syrup to steep for at least 20 minutes or longer.
Pour the syrup into a large pitcher. Then pour in the remaining 3 cups of water and lemon juice. Fill the pitcher with ice and stir.

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