by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist
Do you often feel cold, and not only in the winter months? Do you like bundling up with a blanket, a hot drink, and slippers?
Coldness can show in the body in many different ways such as actually feeling cold, especially the low back, feet, and hands; lack of motivation or tiredness especially when feeling chilled; copious urination; or feeling of tight contracted muscles (to name a few). From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, coldness can occur in our bodies due to:
Lack of physical activity, eating too many cooling foods, overexposure to cold environments, lack of warming foods in the diet, or a constitutional weakness.
To help warm the body, here are some lifestyle and diet changes that can be very helpful including:
EAT WARMING FOODS – Some foods have warming properties and by adding these foods into your diet, can help warm your body:
Aduki Beans, Lentils
Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Basil, Rosemary, Fennel, Dill, Anise, Cumin,
Oats, Spelt, Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Walnuts, Sweet Brown Rice
Parsnips, Parsley, Mustard Greens, Winter Squash, Cabbage, Kale, Onions, Leeks, Chives, Garlic
Cherries, Citrus Peel, Dates
USE MODERATELY—-> animal products: mussels, trout, beef, and lamb, butter
AVOID/LIMIT—> sweeteners, eating cold to the touch food (directly out of the fridge or freezer) raw foods, cow dairy
USE WARMING FOOD PREPARATION METHODS:
Baking, stir fry, saute, soups, stews, cook longer with lower heat
BECOME MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE:
Getting some physical activity each day will help warm the body.
SOAK YOUR FEET IN HOT WATER (instead of Long Hot Baths)
BUNDLE UP TO ESPECIALLY KEEP YOUR FEET, LOWER BACK, and LOWER ABDOMEN WARM
Check in with your body once in a while and see how it is feeling. Often people that have been cold their whole lives are used to being cold. Make adjustments to your wardrobe like wearing wooly high socks, cover your neck, tuck in your shirt.
From an Acupuncture perspective, moxibustion (heat therapy using a herb called mugwort) treatments are a wonderful way to deeply warm the body.
This article is for educational purposes only. Please consult your doctor or practitioner for any medical advice.