Health Never Sleeps: Ways to Stay Well This Winter

Photo of woman having acupuncture treatment. Alternative Medicine.
Acupuncture may look intimidating, but the benefits can be life-changing, Photo: iStock

The winter months can leave us feeling literally and figuratively cold, but it’s still important to always be your best self. These East End health and wellness experts are here to help.

Pressure Points

Acupuncture is a convenient and simple way to keep your body, mind and spirit happy and healthy. The acupuncture style or method I have employed for 24 years is called the Worsley 5 Element Acupuncture. J.R. Worsley was my professor in Florida and in the U.K., where I studied. The diagnosis I make with each patient is based on the seasons and other natural cycles and how they express themselves in a person. Patients receive very few “needles” during their session, and they are not left in. I have successfully treated people for many issues, including sciatica, migraines and fertility, to name a few. Acupuncture works with the energy or Qi (pronounced ‘Chi’) of a person, which has specific and natural healthy patterns, the same way planets orbit around the sun. Stress impacts Qi patterns and signs/symptoms result. I re-teach or reset healthy, desirable patterns and people feel better and get better.—Lauren Matzen, Licensed Acupuncturist, Classical Acupuncture

Take Your Vitamins

During winter months, the need for Vitamin D is often overlooked. With less time spent in the sun, it’s important we monitor our Vitamin D levels to ensure we are getting enough. Two easy ways to increase your Vitamin D intake are to take a supplement or to incorporate more Vitamin D–rich foods into your diet, such as fortified foods (dairy, cereals) or fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines. With the cold weather, people are less inclined to drink enough water, making it difficult to stay hydrated. Easy ways to ensure you are drinking enough water is to track it or set reminders on your phone to keep you drinking throughout the day. You want to aim for eight cups a day.

Being cooped up inside makes it difficult for many people to get out and exercise. During winter months we tend to move less. Incorporating small amounts of exercise into your day by walking the dog, taking the stairs, doing short at-home exercises, or using an exercise app can help keep energy levels up and burn extra calories.—Lara McNeil, MS, RDN, CDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, East End Nutrition

Skin Deep

The winter months can be really tough and cause tight, dry, flaky skin. Our skin is exposed to dry heat in our homes and in our cars, and the windy cold air when we step outside. The best way to combat the negative effects would be to prevent them. Protect your skin with a great hydrating serum and heavier moisturizers than you would typically use throughout the summer months. Around our eyes, the skin is thinner than other areas of the face, so a great eye treatment is important for keeping the skin hydrated and reducing the appearance of crow’s feet. My favorite way to get an instant overnight boost of hydration is to sleep in a hydrating mask packed with Vitamin C.

Skincare should change as the seasons do, so scheduling your facials just before a seasonal change is important for preventing any skin issues. Your esthetician can make product recommendations for your skin type and help you plan an at-home skincare plan. Cold weather decreases blood flow to the skin, resulting in dry, dull and sometimes irritated skin. Make sure your moisturizer has more of a creamy, heavier feel to it to create more of a barrier between sun, wind, cold and your skin. Don’t worry so much about exfoliating or having resurfacing treatments done if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. Keeping a barrier in place is more important for your outdoorsy lifestyle. Drink plenty of water and remember that the sun’s damaging rays reflect off snow the same as they do off sand.—Virginia White, Licensed Esthetician, Ocean Spa

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