3 Tips from an Acupuncturist: Staying healthy this fall
Barbara Poczyniak, R.AC - Registered Acupuncturist in Toronto
Fall is my favourite season – and I know I'm not alone. Something about the crisp change in the air, the autumn colours and getting back into my cosy sweaters! For me its also the time I start cooking some of my favourite dishes again. Although I love summer's fresh and light meals, I yearn to make a hearty dish that simmers on the stove top all afternoon.
From an Acupuncturist's point of view – Fall is an important time for keeping on top of your health. Here are some tips to keep well during this time of seasonal changes:
Boosting Immunity with Bone Broth
Cooler weather often brings changes in energy levels and and can us feeling a bit more rundown than usual. Even with the best diet, sometimes we still do not get all of our nutrients on a daily basis. Vitamin supplementation is one option; but so is keeping a steady supply of Bone Broth on hand. I will often make a bigger batch of broth on weekends and sip a cup or so every morning. If you don't like this as a drink in itself it can also be used as a great base for soups, or for cooking grains.
Here is one basic recipe:
2 – 2.5lbs of bones
2 stalks of celery, with the tops
2 bay leaves
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
salt (to taste)
A note on bones: grass fed beef bones are available at most good butcher shops, but you can also use chicken or turkey bones; or use a mix. Aim for the best quality organic meat you can afford – this quality also comes through in the nutrients that will be released from the bones.
I make enough to last 2 weeks and use it as needed. It lasts nicely in the fridge for about 3 weeks. This can also be frozen – but first cool broth and place in fridge. Once the fat has separated and risen to the top, it can be scooped off and removed. Use this fat for other cooking, or discard. The remaining broth can then be frozen and stored in the freezer.
Dress for the weather
It may seem rather obvious, but keeping warm and protecting yourself against the elements is a key component to preserving wellness. During the Fall (and Spring) months, it is important to keep warm and dress for the weather. Keeping the neck and head warm especially – as according to Traditional Chinese Medicine the neck is easily affected by Wind. This can lead to chills, stiffness, pain and even affect other parts of the body.
This is such an important factor in TCM that there is a whole category of illness categorized as “Wind Invasion”, and acupuncture points with names such as Wind Pool (this point is near the base of the skull where it joins the back of neck). Simple solution is to wear a scarf and protect your neck!
A time for changes
Although we usually think of Spring as the time of new beginnings, Fall is also a time for major change. In Chinese Medicine this is the time to let go of things that may no longer serve you well. Sometimes this can mean an urge to clear out or organize things in our life – to put things in order before the winter season. This can be as simple as re-organizing your closet to prepare for the cooler months or it can mean much bigger changes in a person's life. In terms of your health, this can be a good time to leave behind old habits and learn healthy new ones. In fact, from the view of TCM, Fall is actually the most beneficial (and successful) time to quit habits such as smoking.
Interested in learning more about Acupuncture and how it can be a part of your preventative healthcare strategy? I offer a free 20 minute consult that can be booked here.
DISCLAIMER: Please note the content on this website is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, nor is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication, nutritional supplement or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website does not create professional relationship between you and Vital Bloom Wellness or Barbara Poczyniak.
Hi, I'm Barbara Poczyniak. Registered Acupuncturist practicing in Toronto.