Are you feeling down lately? You are not alone! With getting over the holiday season and the gloomy weather it’s easy to fall into a slump. Many people struggle with the winter blues this time of year, including us! The good news is that Good Point is here to help! Here are 6 ways to beat the blues.
- Lighten up – Shorter days leave your body and brain craving sunlight which naturally increases the serotonin levels in your body. Light therapy has been shown to help but it can be pricey. Luckily, in Texas our winters are mild and we have many sunny days throughout the winter so get out and enjoy it when you can!
- Boost Vitamin D – Again, shorter days and less sunlight can lead to lower vitamin D levels which can leave you feeling fatigued and lower immunity. A vitamin D supplement can help stave off these and other symptoms.
- Move it – More and more studies show that exercising has a significant impact on mood. Even just a 20 minute walk can make a difference. And the bonus is that it can help you avoid the winter weight gain.
- Tune in – A 2013 research study from the University of Missouri showed that listening to cheerful music can greatly improve mood. So cue up your dance cardio playlist and this one is a twofer since dancing counts as exercise.
- Get Acupuncture – Acupuncture regulates your body’s energy (Qi) and helps prevent stagnation. Acupuncture also naturally stimulates the release of serotonin.
- Oil Up – Aromas have a powerful impact on the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls emotions and memories. Citrus scents in particular are especially uplifting and invigorating so diffusing blends like doterra’s Cheer, Citrus Bliss, or Motivate can actually help you feel cheerful, blissed out, and motivated. You can try all of these and more in our office.
Hang in there! It’s Texas so Spring is right around the corner.
Good Point Team
Acupuncture is part of a medical system that dates back nearly 3,500 years. This medical system is known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM acknowledges not four but five seasons. The fifth season, Indian Summer, occurs in late August through mid-September. Each season in TCM has a pair of organs or energetic pathways it corresponds to. For Indian Summer, these pathways are those of the spleen and stomach.
The spleen and stomach are directly responsible for digestion. The spleen also has the added function of transporting and absorbing water in the body. When the spleen is not functioning properly, the body may suffer from a buildup of dampness. This can manifest as edema, digestive issues and even brain fog. Many people who have impaired spleen function also suffer from diabetes.
To keep the spleen and stomach functioning properly within the TCM system, things like acupuncture, herbal formulas, nutritional counseling and practices like qi gong or tai chi may need to be incorporated. There are over 350 acupuncture points on the body, but there are some that work exceptionally well during Indian Summer to help with digestion and fluid transport.
- Spleen 9 – This point is located bilaterally on the inside of the lower leg. It can be found by locating the tibia, following it up the leg to the knee and then feeling for the depression behind and below the lower edge of the tibia. This acupuncture point is a wonderful point to use to help drain edema and decrease abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.
- Stomach 25 – This point is located bilaterally on the lower abdomen. It can be found about 2 finger-breadths laterally away from the middle of the belly button and completely level with it. This point is part of a group known as the four doors. Stomach 25 is used to treat abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and edema.
- Ren 6 – This point is located on the midline of the abdomen, about one and a half thumb-breadths directly below the belly button. This is another point that is part of the four doors grouping. Ren 6 can be used to help with abdominal pain, edema, diarrhea, constipation and menstrual problems.
- Ren 12 – This point is located on the midline of the abdomen, about four thumb-breadths directly above the belly button. This is the final point that completes the four doors grouping. Just like its counterparts, Ren 12 can help with bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It is also used to treat stomachaches, acid reflux, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Spleen 6 – This point is located bilaterally on the inside of the lower leg. It is found three thumb-breadths above the medial ankle bone and just behind the tibia. Spleen 6 is frequently used by acupuncturists. It helps with abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, menstrual problems, urinary leakage, edema, dizziness, vertigo and insomnia.
Any of these points can be used alone or in conjunction with others. They can be manually stimulated using pressure from a finger or dull, rounded tool. But for best effects, it is recommended acupuncture be applied.
In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver energy flows upward into the eyes. When this energy is flowing smoothly and working as it should, your vision is clear and sharp, you have efficient night vision and the eyes are bright and well-lubricated.
When out of balance, the liver can generate heat that rises upward. This heat can manifest in dry eyes, itchy eyes or eyes that are red and irritated. Think about how red one’s eyes can get after a night of drinking. Alcohol adds heat to the liver, which in turn rises upward and creates hot, red eyes. The facial flushing you see after a night of imbibing is also indicative of this heat.
When the liver blood is deficient, you will see symptoms of dryness throughout the body, particularly in the eyes. Dry, scratchy eyes are a sign of liver blood deficiency, and floaters (those little black spots that can appear in the periphery of your vision) are also indicative of this deficiency.
When liver blood deficiency becomes more pronounced, patients can develop something we acupuncturists refer to as “Internal Wind.” Wind manifests as symptoms of shaking, tics, tremors or issues such as rashes that move around from place to place within the body. You know that annoying eye twitch you get that you are convinced the world can see, even though everyone tells you they don’t notice it? Those tics are a sign the body is deficient in energy, and wind has developed to shake things up. Internal wind can also show up as issues that itch, such as dry, itchy eyes.