3 Ways to Boost Our Immune System This Winter Season
Plus, some little-known facts from Traditional Chinese Medicine and my word of the week!
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week I want to talk about staying warm. Well, I’m not sure where you are, but it’s winter here and all I can remember is when I was a young girl, my mom telling me to put my hat and scarf on and mittens. Well, you know what? It did sink in. And nowadays, whenever I see somebody out in the cold weather without a hat, scarf and gloves, I’m like, oh, I hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head.
But now, years later, after I’ve studied traditional Chinese medicine and all my other healing arts, I do understand why my mom was telling me to put on my hat, scarf and gloves. I do understand a little bit more about our body and our immune system and how important it is to stay warm. The areas of our body that we really want to keep warm when it’s windy and wet and cold is our feet in our hands, our lower back, our neck and the top of our head. We lose the most heat out of the top of our head. I think it’s really taking a moment and acknowledging and respecting and caring for our immune system, and it really does mean staying warm.
I’ve learned with traditional Chinese medicine that the winter is also associated with our kidneys. Each season has an organ system that it relates to. And so now with winter, it’s our kidneys and we really want to take care of our kidneys. And that means warm, warm tea and warm soup and warm food. We don’t want to be eating cold salads and lots of fruit and ice cream and icy drinks. These are all harmful to our kidneys. This is all harmful to our immune system when we need it to be at its best and its strongest in the winter. A little trick -did you know that our kidneys are also reflected in our ears?
So for our action item this week, if you’re feeling tired or maybe you have a little cold, you can gently massage your ears. And this will give us a little micro boost of energy. And particularly good if you’re on Zoom calls and you’ve got headphones on your ears a lot, rub your ears when you’re done. See how good you feel. So when we’re out in the weather, we really, really want to think of our immune system. We want to honor it and we want to keep it warm. And so our feet, our lower back, our neck, our hands, our head, we want them all nice and warm as we move through the winter.
So my word of the week, very simple, is WARM.
The W is for Well. I don’t know about you but staying well is a major goal in my life. Learning about our body and how it works and our immune system is really important for a long, healthy, joyful life. We really don’t want to be bogged down with ailments. That’s not living. Being mindful and taking care of our one and only body – that is the goal.
The A is for Active. Movement is very important, especially when it’s cold. And that movement and breath really nourishes our immune system. And so we do want to get out and walk in the winter, but we want to make sure we’re bundled up. We want to practice yoga and Tai chi and Qigong because this slow movement with deep breaths is so good for our immune system and our kidneys.
The R is for Robust because when we are healthy and happy, we can live a full and rewarding life. Be prepared if you know weather’s coming. Be prepared. Make sure you’ve got enough layers. Plan ahead. Keep our body happy and warm.
And the M is for Magic. Good health is amazing. To wake up with no aches and pains – what would that be like? That would be wonderful. And this is the goal. But we can only do that when we’re paying attention. And we can only do that when we’re taking care of ourselves and we’re not taking this beautiful vessel for granted. We need to protect it and nourish it.
So, stay warm. Get those hats and gloves and scarves out. Make sure your lower back stays warm. Have a great week, everybody.