The holiday rush is finally settling down. We've been running on overdrive. it's time to recharge and nourish our bodies.
The aftermath of the festive season and the approach of winter, is the perfect moment to start. With holiday excesses behind us, we can welcome a refreshing detox, restore vitality and balance in our bodies, rejuvenate our skin and fortify the immune system, ready for the cold months ahead.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it's crucial especially during winter, to maintain a balance between Yin and Yang energies. Winter is considered a Yin season with cold and still qualities. Detoxification is necessary to counteract the body's tendency to accumulate stagnation and coldness during this time. This detoxification helps ensure a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang, promoting overall health and well-being during the Yin-dominated season.
Detox and revitalize the flow of Chi.
Dry brushing is perfect for detoxing. Not only does this technique revitalize energy but also exfoliates dead skin cells and promotes lymphatic drainage, crucial to a healthy immune system and fighting infection.
Try the ancient Ayurvedic practice of Oil Pulling. Swishing a spoonful of GingerChi Oral Detox around the mouth for about 20 minutes stimulates glands, to help detoxify the body, maintain oral health and improve overall Chi.
Just as the importance of the intake of water helps disperse toxins from the organs, our herbal Cleanse-Chi Tea helps regulate the body’s daily natural purification system and brings balance to one’s internal system, facilitating beauty and radiance from within.
Winter is associated with the Water element and the Kidney system, symbolizing introspection, rest, and conservation. This is the time to embrace both the Yin and Yang aspects, recognizing the need for rest and conservation while maintaining the internal warmth and subtle activity that ensures the body's resilience. Find time and space to slow down, reflect, and nurture our inner selves.
Embrace Warming Foods: According to TCM principles, we need to nourish the Yin aspect and counter balance the cold and dryness of winter by add warming foods like soups, stews, and herbal teas to your diet. These foods support the body's internal warmth and moisture. Foods like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and root vegetables can help stoke the internal fires, providing essential Yang energy.
Check out our Self-Care Journal Series #12 for recipes for a warming ginger infused tonic to harness yang and protect the lungs as well as congee. A fortifying savory porridge which is both warming, hydrating and calms the gut.
Winter Skin Essentials
According to TCM principles, winter yin conditions can cause create havoc to skin. It's crucial to adapt your skincare routine to keep your skin balanced, healthy and radiant. When the air is dry and cold, the focus is on skincare practices that emphasize maintaining skin hydration and moisture.
Using a hydrating moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, found in our Hydro+ can help combat the dryness brought on by chilly air. Hyaluronic acid is also added to all our Boosters – Retinol+ and our Vital-C+. Active ingredients harmonized with hyaluronic acid is the ultimate skin care combo.
Opt for a gentle, hydrating cleanser, like our Purifying Oil Cleanser with camelia seed oil. Use with the 100% Muslin Cloth to remove impurities without disrupting your skin's natural balance.
Mindful exfoliation, using mild products like our Rice Bran Cleanser and Masque made with ground rice, without harsh AHA’s, helps maintain a healthy glow without overdrying.
As we layer to protect our body from the elements, layering our skin with hydrating serums, moisturizers, and facial oils, like our Regenerating Face Serum and Blue Tansy Balance Oil will help it stay protected, hydrated and moisturized. Sunscreen remains a must, even in winter, to shield your skin from lingering UV rays. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on exposed areas.
Internal hydration is equally vital—drink ample water, indulge in herbal teas and tonics that help fortify and balance your systems.
Give extra attention to your lips, prone to dryness in colder weather. Our Ginger Peppermint Lip glow made with a nourishing plant oils and vitamin E infused with ginger and peppermint, penetrates to heal lips of cracks and dryness.
Combat the drying effects of central heating by investing in a humidifier to reintroduce moisture into your home.
Protect Your Kidneys: In TCM, the kidneys are associated with the body's fundamental Yin and Yang balance. Layer up, protect the body's surface especially your lower back to prevent the invasion of external pathogens that can disrupt Yang energy.
To fortify the kidney massage the acupressure point Kidney 1, on the base of your feet with warming oil like our Stress Relief Roll On or Lavender Ginger Body Oil before bed. Find out more about how acupressure points can help support your wellbeing.
Prioritize Adequate Sleep: Rest is crucial for replenishing Yang energy. To ensure you get enough restorative rest during the longer nights of winter, use a sleep mask to block out light while sleeping, can improve cognitive function the next day. If you suffer from insomnia, place our Jade Mask over your eyes before sleeping. The weight of the jade over the eyes calms and soothes overactive energy.
Engage in Gentle Exercise: Imbalance shows up in our bodies in the form of skin inflammation, eczema, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, sinus infections, coughs and colds. This is caused by stagnation and blockage of Chi. It is vital to keep Chi flowing through physical movement. But don't overdo it. Avoid excessive sweating and intense workouts, as TCM suggests moderation during the winter months.
Regular yoga or gentle stretching helps with flexibility and stiffness in joints and provides an overall sense of well-being. For slower paced meditative movement, try Tai Chi or Chi Kung. Gentle, flowing exercises help to promote the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout your body.
Incorporate Yang-Boosting Herbs: Explore the world of TCM herbs known for their Yang-boosting properties. Ginseng, deer antler, licorice and eucommia bark are examples of herbs believed to fortify the immune system and invigorate Yang energy when used appropriately and under the guidance of a TCM practitioner.
Stay Hydrated with Warm Liquids: Swap cold beverages for warm teas and soups. Hydrating with lukewarm or hot liquids supports the body's circulation and prevents the intrusion of cold, which could compromise Yang energy. Special blends of teas, such as our GlowChi tea with Ginger and Gojiberry supports the lungs and skin. Or simply mix a teaspoon of Ground Ginger in hot water and stir in some honey to warm the system and aid digestion.
Practice Mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Cultivate a calm and centered mind through practices like meditation and deep-breathing exercises. TCM recognizes the intimate connection between mental well-being and the balance of Yin and Yang energies.
Seek Acupuncture and TCM Consultations: Consider consulting a qualified TCM practitioner for personalized guidance. Acupuncture sessions can help balance Yin and Yang, fostering overall well-being during the winter months.
Find time for a Tui-Nah or the 5 Elements Acupressure Body and Foot Massage to activate meridians and release toxins - stimulating the flow of Chi for balance and wellbeing as well as fortifying the immune system.
Connect with Nature: Embrace the stillness of winter. Bundle up well and spend some time outdoors. TCM encourages aligning with the natural rhythms of the season, connecting with the quietude of winter to harmonize your internal energies.
As winter blankets the world in Yin energy, TCM provides a roadmap for preserving our vital Yang essence. By incorporating these tips into your lifestyle, you can navigate the winter months with resilience, warmth, and an enhanced sense of well-being and rejuvenated Chi.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Our in-house acupuncturist and esthetician are also available 7 days a week at the GingerChi at the GingerChi holistic spa here in New York City
With love and good Chi,