With the glow and celebration of the holiday season behind us, the dark cold days of January and February the can really take a toll on your psyche and leave you with an overall feeling of being blue. Your body has slowed down and your system has become sluggish. You feel tired, irritable, your brain is foggy, you’ve gained weight and you’re overall outlook on life can be less than positive. Yikes!
You don’t have to suffer any longer. Help is here! Our panel of expert practitioners shares their advice to lift the winter blues.
Dr. Audrey Sasson, Naturopathic Doctor
A positive perspective about how we plan to approach those wintery days will have great impact. Daily affirmations are an excellent way to keep positive thoughts top of mind. Balancing yin and yang is essential for us battling the winter. Both Chinese herbs and acupuncture are excellent ways tocombat the wintery blues. Meridians are pathways in the body through which energy flows. Each meridian is related to a specific organ system which also possesses an emotion, a flavor and a season. In the winter months we crave more carbohydrate dense meals that are linked to the spleen meridian. In an acupuncture treatment, needling specific points related to imbalances in the meridians can dramatically elevate your mood. Tongue and pulse assessments will ensure that your treatment is individualized and caters specifically to your needs. A series of 6-8 acupuncture sessions is sufficient, although significant improvements are generally seen just after 2 sessions!
Christianne James, Registered Massage Therapist
Manual Therapies such as Cranial Sacral Therapy, Lymphatic Activation and Massage during the winter months can provide much relief from the pesky symptoms of the winter blues. Treatments can boost your immune system, decrease anxiety and depression, help alleviate a foggy head, increase energy, promote stage IV sleep and increase circulation all of which can aid to restore balance and function to the body.
Karen Gilman, Holistic Nutritionist
There are several dietary changes you can make to help boost your mood while waiting for spring to come. Add Omega 3 fats to your diet! Certain inflammatory chemicals in the brain called cytokines can cause feelings of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids block the action of these cytokines. Research suggests vitamin D may help relieve symptoms of winter blues by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. Vitamin D can be obtained from moderate sun exposure, but if you live in the northern hemisphere in the winter, getting enough sun exposure can be difficult. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to impaired mental function and depression and another important B vitamin, folate, may help boost your mood and reduce fatigue by helping your body produce serotonin. Ensure good intake of Vitamin D, B12 and folate during the winter months.
Make sure you eat breakfast each morning! Eating a good breakfast is linked to better job (and school) performance and mood. Eat protein at each meal and snack, hummous and veggies or almonds and apple slices, to regulate your blood sugar levels so you don’t get irritable during the day. Make your plate interesting and colourful by adding different fruits and vegetables. For more information on which foods to eat to help keep away the winter blues join me on Monday January 13 from 12:15 – 1:15pm for a ‘Food For Winter Blues Workshop’. Cost of this workshop is $20. To register, call 416-949-0164.
Dr. Ana Nozari, Naturopathic Doctor
Light Therapy and Melatonin are two treatments shown to be effective in improving the symptoms of winter blues. Light therapy could be as simple as getting out for a walk on a bright winter morning, or using a full spectrum light box in the morning hours. A low dose of the melatonin in the afternoon can reset the body’s clock to normal. See your Naturopathic Doctor for the best dose for you. Make sure to keep active in winter months, as exercise can improve your mood and burn off the extra calories we take in during holiday season.
Even though the winter months can bring on the blues, you are probably glad the running nose and itchy eyes or throat from seasonal allergies has finally subsided! Did you know winter is the best time to address seasonal allergies if you want to be proactive and truly treat your seasonal allergies rather than taking numerous antihistamines or remedies? NAET treatments can effectively treat seasonal allergies, and the time to start treatment is now when you are not exposed to the environmental allergies. A few months of regular treatments are needed to overcome symptoms. Act now so you can fully enjoy the spring and summer seasons we eagerly wait for! Contact Dr. Ana Nozari ND for a short complimentary information session to answer any questions you may have regarding NAET treatments or visit www.naet-canada.com to learn more.