I hope 2023 is off to a good start for you!
I wanted to share a few tried and true warming ideas that are regulars in my household.
Fire cider is a very old home herbal recipe. The basis is to infuse warming herbs and spices, usually in apple cider vinegar, then strain after a few weeks and use liberally throughout the wintertime. It can be used in cooking (where you would use vinegar), as a shrub (vinegar drink usually with seltzer water) or just as a small daily tonic.
If you prefer, you can buy fire cider from local herbal companies such as Wise Woman Herbals, or at your local health food store.
photo credit to moutainroseblog
Other warming practices:
You can also try topical application of capsaicin products (the hot sensation in Icy Hot) or black cumin seed oil or black pepper oil to areas of poor circulation such as hands and feet.
Be careful with the oils as you will want to test your skin after you have diluted the oil (diluted with a neutral oil such as almond or jojoba) as the oils are very concentrated and can cause a burning sensation if too strong or left on too long.
One drop of concentrated essential oil to ten drops of carrier oil should be adequate, but test your own sensitivity level.
The last idea I wanted to share will sound very odd, but I've noticed it really helps me keep up good circulation through this winter so far… and that is cold plunging. Yes, it's a bit of a fad with the biohackers, but I really think there is something there!
After taking a long, hot sauna, I plunge for anywhere from a brief dip to three minutes.
(If you try this you need to test out your own response, as you want to avoid feeling too chilled afterward.)
I noticed improved resilience to our cold weather even after the first day, and have continued to feel more comfortable this winter doing a sauna-plus-plunge once or twice a week.
A word of caution
These are just ideas I think are safe and appropriate for most anyone to try in their life. This is generalized information and not medical advice.
Be especially cautious if you have any peripheral vascular condition, such as Raynaud's disease (see below), as some folks are especially sensitive to temperature changes in their extremities and need more customized support.
I wish you a wonderful entry into 2023, and all the best for you coming year!
I also wish that all who are starting new resolutions, behavioral changes, intentions, and new practices act from a place of self-compassion, self-love, and listening to what our bodies need.
There are more than enough negative messages about what we "should" do or be (or buy) out there. In case you haven't heard this recently, you are enough. Your body is a good body.
We, and our bodies, are always doing the best we can, with the resources we have available. We all deserve rest, replenishment, and the ability to take good care of ourselves.
Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you while you take care of yourself in 2023,
Dr. Angela Cortal