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A number of patients have asked me for advice on how I like to handle the winter.  So here are a few suggestions:

(1) Stay More Than Warm.  Even if the temperature spikes to 65 degrees like it did yesterday here in NJ, keep a coat on.  Get in the sauna or to a hot yoga class on a regular basis. Wear a hat and/or scarf whenever possible until the spring thaw.  Eastern Medicine states: “The Wind Brings the 10,000 diseases”.  If you keep your skin from being exposed during the winter months and keep your core body temperature up, you will be less likely to get sick and more likely to feel happier.

(2) Don’t Do Raw.  Think seasonally.  Think with common sense!  Raw foods and cold foods are great in the summer when our bodies are constantly working to cool us down.  In the winter, eat more cooked foods such as soups.  This is the time of the year for you omnivores to eat meat.  You vegetarians need to cook your veggies.  NEVER drink beverages with ice (even in the summer), as the ice puts our bodies in a temporary state of shock (Sorry you Vodka soda drinkers).

(3) What do bears do in the winter?  Well, do something similar.  Sleep more.  Rest more. Conserve your energy.  If its dark out (which seems to be most of the time), your body is asking you to rest.  Do your best to do so.

(4) LAUGH.  If you are going to be inside and watching TV, put on some comedy.  Maybe watch nothing but comedy. Laughter warms the heart and keeps our spirits light.  Consider turning the TV off and finding another way to laugh. Maybe do what I do and simply look in the mirror!

Many of us in NJ had extended power outages from Hurricane Sandy.  We did not have the TV on in our home for two weeks.  I cannot tell you how many people I spoke with, in similar situations, who did not watch TV at all.  And everyone I spoke with said the same thing – that they didn’t miss TV at all.

(5) Get your body worked on.  Did you ever see a bear get a massage?  A chiropractic adjustment?  I haven’t either, but I imagine that if they did, they would be happier.  This is the time of the year to get a weekly body work session of some kind.  It increases circulation, increases your metabolism, clears out the toxins, and releases serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter).