Your Health This Winter Season
Winter Solstice was December 22 this year, typically heralding not only cold weather and snow, but additional challenge to our immune systems. 'Tis the season of colds- not so much because of the cooler temperatures, as one may think, but because of the dry air. Winter air dries out mucous membranes in our nose and throat, causing cracks, and increasing the chance of the cold virus to enter our bodies. Winter can also cause many to feel "blue" (known as seasonal affect disorder) as the days have become shorter, offering less sunlight, and opportunity for our bodies to produce vitamin D. Many people also become more sedentary, as they are less likely to do things outdoors.
There are several things you can and should do to stay healthy during the winter months.
Good nutrition is ever more important to defend your immune system and keep your spirits up. Eating five small balanced meals, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains throughout the day will help maintain energy levels. Steel cut oats, cooked root vegetables, clear broth and lentil or bean soups are great choices for this time of year and will keep you feeling satisfied and grounded.
Since it is cold, you may not think of drinking water as much, but it is even more important to prevent dehydration. Sixty-four ounces or a gallon a day is recommended, at room temperature or even hot water (or herbal tea) is more soothing to your stomach and will warm you from the inside out!
Even though you may be spending more time indoors, regular exercise (at least 30 minutes, three times per week) is critical to a healthy immune system and will boost endorphins and serotonin levels, warding off the winter blues- perfect time for trying a yoga or Pilates class or increasing the frequency.
Getting a humidifier for your home to put moisture back into the air and prevent colds. Make sure you clean the inside of the humidifier thoroughly each week with white vinegar and water. I also like to add a few drops of teatree oil to the tank before using, to ward off bacteria (not brew up more!)
Finally, keep your immune system healthy and mood lifted by taking extra care of yourself this Winter. Regular integrative health visits keep the body and mind resilient, discouraging illness. Visit your massage therapist, acupuncturist or chiropractor at least once a month to keep your body in check. Consider nutritional counseling or naturopathy to get to the root of any health concern you may have been putting up with for a while, but is keeping you from optimal health. The coming of Winter is inevitable, but you may take control of your health by practicing good habits, and enjoy Winter in good health!
Nicole Trincia, LMT License Massage Therapist
Nicole Trincia is a Massachusetts Licensed and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist who has been practicing in the Greater Boston area for over eleven years. She graduated from Healing Touch Institute in 2000, with certification in Holistic Massage Therapy. Her training includes Swedish, Esalen, Neuromuscular, Myofascial, Sports and Pregnancy Massage as well as Polarity, Aromatherapy, and yoga. As a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), Nicole has expanded her massage into an integrative style, customized to the unique needs of her clients. She incorporates Cranio Sacral, Thai Massage, Hot Stone, assisted stretching, and Feldenkrais techniques.
In 2010, she successfully completed the First Degree of the Usui System of Reiki Healing. Over the years of working in integrated wellness centers, spas and in private practice, Nicole has guided clients with intuition and compassion, out of restriction and pain, into more physically and emotionally productive living. Her clients range from professional athletes, musicians, children, the elderly, and those with repetitive stress injuries, systemic illness, special needs, and emotional stress. Having earned a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College and a M.A. in Education from Lesley University, Nicole is personally fascinated with the mind-body connection. She is committed to identifying stress patterns and educating her clients on proper body mechanics, work habits, diet and exercise. Nicole has been practicing Forrest Yoga for eleven years and has studied Macrobiotics. She has played various sports since childhood, and has overcome repetitive stress injuries through the use of massage, yoga, and other integrated therapies without surgery. She delights in sharing what she has learned through massage and overall mind-body awareness with her clients, so that they may live a more balanced, vivacious, and joyful life!