Shiver me timbers fellow desert dwellers. Is it cold outside, or what? Snow is pretty common on Mt. Lemmon, but we even got snow in Tucson yesterday! It’s time to dress in layers to help keep our bodies healthy. Here are a few suggestions that will help you stay warm and happy.
Wear a Scarf
Wearing a scarf around your neck can help you stay healthy. (And who doesn’t like fabulous accessories?) Studies have shown that cold viruses thrive during chilly weather because:
. . . when we inhale cold air into the nasal cavity, the temperature in the nose decreases and that will provide a more permissive temperature for the cold virus to replicate.
Our bodies are normally 98.6 degrees. When we breathe in cold air, our body temperature can decrease to 91.4 degrees. Colder temperature allows the virus replicate more efficiently and produce higher levels of infectious virus. Traditional Chinese medicine posits that the neck, nose, and lower back impact the health of our breathing passages. Wear a scarf to help your neck stay warm. Tuck in your shirt so that your lower back stays warm.
Drink Warm Beverages
At the risk of sounding nostalgic, cold weather calls for warm beverages like cocoa and cider. Many Tucsonians prefer iced coffee/tea over hot beverages. However, drinking warm liquids helps stimulate digestion. Warm beverages also help your body release toxins, alleviate headaches, and decrease menstrual cramps. Keep your water bottles at room temperature and avoid the urge do fill your cups with ice.
Get Enough Sleep
There’s a reason why bears hibernate and plants shed their leaves in the Winter. There is less light from the Sun. This means lower temperatures. It also signifies that it’s time for our bodies to rest. Samantha Berg from the Alaska Center for Acupuncture shares this advice:
Take the cues from outside – when there’s less light out, your body needs more sleep. Try your best to get to bed earlier and sleep a little later if possible. Listen to what your body is telling you and don’t try to push yourself to exhaustion with coffee or other stimulants. By artificially pushing into your reserves, you’re actually borrowing from tomorrow’s energy and depleting yourself further. Pretty soon there are no reserves left when your body needs it to fight off an illness. A healthy, strong and well rested person is a much better match for a virus than an exhausted, stressed-out person. Your immune system is only as healthy as you are.
If you need help sleeping or keeping warm, come to The Gathering Point Community Acupuncture and take a nice nap after you get poked with needles. We’ve got a great environment for Winter R&R.