The more I work with the Western medicine, the more I am becoming passionate about healthy lifestyle and our body’s natural healing ability. Even though I work in an intensive care unit (ICU), despite administering loads of medications to my patients, I am a strong believer of body’s innate ability of natural healing power.

It is so devastating to see so many people becoming dependent on doctors for their optimal health. They are not aware that most of the doctors are already overworked and frustrated with very little time allotted for each patient. The bottom line is no one can take care of your health as much as you can. You are the one who has to take charge of your own health.

As winter is approaching, I wanted to write about one of the most common things that occur in winter. One of the first things we think when we hear cold weather is “oh no, cold, congestion, flu, sickness”. Even if one member among the family gets sick, the energy of the house breaks down and it becomes a burden for both the caregiver & the person who is requiring the care. Only until 2 years ago, I was the person who got sick frequently during the cold weather & the recovery would take atleast 3 months. As I started practicing yoga and started being mindful & healthy, the frequency and the duration of catching flu viruses have started decreasing tremendously. Some of the tips I follow, hopefully will help you decrease the chances or even duration of your sickness. These tips are not only for winter, however a journey to a healthier you!

-Avoid taking medications if possible (they don’t cure colds!! They are basically chemicals which suppress the symptoms) *A lot of us are unaware that fever, cough & runny nose are process of natural healing. Fever indicates that our immune system is fighting the virus, while cough & runny nose helps us to get rid of the secretions that result from inflammation.
-Keep your hands & feet warm. Always cover the back of neck* (major contributor) during cold weather. According to the traditional chinese medicine, point B 36 which is located near the spine, off the tips of the shoulder blades-wind and cold enters the pores of the skin at this point.
-avoid anything refrigrated cold (especially during winter season).
-showers with cold or luke warm water (if you are feeling optimal). if you have to take hot shower-stay indoors for couple hours. *I probably sound very brutal mentioning cold showers. The truth is that they have so many benefits. When we take cold shower, all our energy is forced inward, pushing the heat to our center- strengthing our core & creating circulation to the tiniest blood vessels, resulting in cells recieving loads of energy, leaving us refreshed & energetic. My favorite outcome is that it helps me get out of my comfort zone. I surprise myself doing challenging things that i wouldn’t ever imagine doing. (….like using the Miter saw…Yes!) Avoid if you are sick, or have arthritis.
– eat home made foods, preferrably whole foods, avoid white sugar (Sugar negatively affects our immunity). Use honey, or jaggery instead. Avoid packaged & refined foods with added ingredients. Home made foods have high prana energy, whereas packaged food has zero prana energy which has a huge impact on our mind, body & soul.
-avoid eating cheese during winter (increases congestion).
-use desi ghee, honey, blackpepper, ginger (helps decreases congestion).
-Increase your body temperature daily by doing daily exercise (alterate with yoga, walk or aerobic exercise). Our immunity increases when body temperature rises and decreases when it falls. Drink hot beverages if you are feeling cold.
– Keep your core strong. Imagine a building without a strong foundation- the same principle applies to our body as well, our core is the foundation of our body. Strong core doesn’t mean you need to have 6 packs. Strong core consists of healthy gut function and balanced second chakkra. Some of the things I do for my core are abdominal breathing, push ups, sit ups, plank & Korean yoga. (I will write another blog about the core & yoga exercises.)
-sunbath daily for 30 min if possible (avoid direct sun during harsh hours), 2-3 hours if sick (sunlight is a natural disinfectant, it dissolves the mucus in the airways increasing your healing time)
-positive affirmations (I have a perfectly healthy body) & gratitude for being healthy. Prayer for the health & wellness of entire humanity. (You’ll see the results yourself.)
-adequate rest -Maintain a work life balance, know when you are stressed & reset your body accordingly (stress decreases our immunity and our chances of getting sick are higher when we are stressed for longer periods)
-connect with nature frequently (nature heals physically & emotionally)

There probably are so many other ways, however these were some tiny tips from my experience. Feel free to leave comments if you want to add anything. I would love to hear them. Lastly, my heartfelt gratitude to Om Swami ji for giving us the opportunity to write. I never imagined I would be writing one day as I never learned to or tried & here I am writing my first scribble…….Wishing everyone health, happiness and peace.

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Sukhi Dhaliwal

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