Many people wait until the New Year to try to become healthier, but now is the time to start; why wait? Here are suggestions to help you get going.
1. Breath Through Your Nose ->
Yes, the beginning can be that simple! Breathing through your nose increases your intake of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide causes your blood vessels to relax and to widen, thereby opening up your arteries. This decreases your blood pressure, allowing better blood flow to your heart and other important organs.
2. Boost Your Immune System and Ward Off Colds by Taking Astragalus ->
The Chinese name is “Huang qi” and it means “yellow leader” because this long yellow tap root is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Huang Qi helps boost immunity and aid resistance to illness by increasing phagocytosis and your white blood cell count. Chinese research has shown it to have a protective effect against the common cold when taken consistently for two to eight weeks. It also fights bacteria, viruses, and inflammation; it protects the liver, acts as a diuretic, benefits digestive functions, and treats disorders of the skin from burns to carbuncles.
Astragalus is used in TCM formulas and by itself. You can usually find it as a liquid extract, or a tea. Dosage depends on the application and form. The root itself is very mild tasting and when I was in Graduate school some of my professors would put Huang Qi in the chicken stock when they made chicken soup to keep their families healthy.
3. Have Your Water With No Ice
“For digestion, our body needs the internal combustion of heat to transform the food and absorb the nutrients through our intestines. Ice, when ingested, becomes a coagulant and constricts our blood vessels and internal organs. The coldness of ice hinders the digestive process.” ~ Sat Hon
4. Drink Green Tea ->
There has been much research on the anti-carcinogenic qualities of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink copious amounts of green tea daily show a correlation between green tea consumption and lower rates of a variety of cancers. Green tea is easy to find and can be purchased in most grocery stores and health food stores. It is refreshing and can be drunk iced or hot. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine and can help anyone who is attempting to quit or cut back on coffee, caffeinated colas, or black tea.
5. Don’t Just Have Cranberries at Thanksgiving ->
Thanksgiving has passed but that doesn’t mean you have to wait a year to indulge in this healing berry. Did you know that cranberries have enormous health benefits? To name a few: they are very helpful in treating and preventing urinary tract infections, they act as a powerful antioxidant; they may help prevent cancer.
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.