Winter wellness – Anna McMullen BHSc CM


Cold and Flu/Mornington

Winter Wellness – Power through Winter and avoid colds and flu with some simple healthy lifestyle tips to boost your immune system.

This time of year can be difficult. As we pass the halfway mark of winter, getting through this bitterly cold weather and moving ever slowly towards spring and sunshine, the cracks may be starting to appear.

This often shows up for people as a weakened immune system, which means greater susceptibility to catching any cold and flu viruses and bugs which may be doing the rounds.

Today we are going to explore some simple ways you can support your immune system by making some simple changes to your lifestyle. First let’s look at some of the lifestyle factors that have been found to improve your immune system and may be able to help you avoid cold and flu.

What lifestyle factors have been found contribute to a healthy and strong immune system?

 Regular sleep patterns

  • Healthy balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress

Winter wellness - Anna McMullen BHSc CM 1

Regular Sleep Patterns

Having a regular night time routine is one of the best ways to support healthy sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and spend some time winding down before bed. Avoid screens for up to 90 minutes before bed, instead choose to read a book, do some gentle stretches or have a warm shower or bath. Ensure you have at least a couple of hours after your evening meal before getting in to bed to allow your body time to digest. If you suffer from insomnia, make sure you avoid caffeine or other stimulants, particularly later in the day.

Balanced Diet

Research shows a balanced diet is important in supporting a healthy immune system and preventing colds and flu. Including plenty of vegetables in your diet is a good way to ensure you’re getting everything you need. In Chinese Medicine, we believe the way we eat should vary depending on the seasons. In winter, our bodies need more warming and nourishing foods. Think soups, stews and hearty casseroles. Warming spices such as fresh ginger and cinnamon can help warm the channel system and support immunity. Try to avoid cold and raw foods this time of year.

The strength of our immune system is linked to the health of our gut. Consider including fermented foods such as kombucha (our kombucha of choice is ‘Remedy kombucha‘ available to purchase at the clinic), sauerkraut and probiotic rich yoghurts, as these contain healthy bacteria which support gut health.

Keep your eyes peeled for some of my favourite winter recipes I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks.

Winter wellness - Anna McMullen BHSc CM 2

Regular Exercise

Winter is a time of yin in Chinese Medicine, the sun rises later and sets early. It is considered a time for quiet, restful activities. Gentle walking and yoga may be good exercise choices this time of year. Aim for 30 minutes three times a week to help strengthen your body and immune system and prevent cold and flu.

Reduce Stress

There are many ways to combat stress. Incorporating a regular meditation practice is a great way to help reduce your stress levels. If you haven’t meditated before I recommend the Smiling Mind app. It’s free and talks you through simple guided meditations. It even has programs suitable for children. Taking the time to breathe deeply is also important. Sometimes when you’re feeling stressed, simply stopping and taking some nice deep breaths can help ease your discomfort.

I’ll be posting a short video with a guided breathing technique I’ve found to be quite useful in reducing stress, keep an eye out for in the next couple of weeks.

How your acupuncturist can help you bring it all together:

These very simple lifestyle factors can sometimes be hard to incorporate. This is where your acupuncturist comes in. A consultation with your acupuncturist will go in to details about all the aspects of your health including your sleep, diet and levels of physical activity and stress. Not every diet and exercise plan will be suitable for everyone. Your acupuncturist will provide you with dietary and exercise suggestions tailored to your body.

Contact us now on 59736886 to book an appointment or to find out more! 

Anna is available at MCM for appointments on Monday 9am-2pm

Follow us on instagram to see the latest wellness, acupuncture and chinese medicine news from the clinic