Winter wellness…when it’s cold, put a scarf on your wind gate!

Wearing a scarf is very fashionable these days and more and more people are using them. There are websites with 100 or more ways to tie a scarf around your neck. But there are benefits to wearing a scarf as well.

According to acupuncture, which is the oldest form of healthcare, the back of your neck is the area most vulnerable to the wind and is known as “The Wind Gate.” Allowing the cold winter weather and wind to access your Wind Gate can cause chills, achy muscles, nasal congestion and sore throats.

Wearing a scarf reduces neck pain, maintains body temperature, and can prevent colds. The scarf keeps your neck warm and protects you from cold and dampness of the winter weather seeping in. This is important when your immune system could be down due to tiredness or stress that is typical in winter months.

Prevention is the primary factor to get through the winter months without succumbing to coughs and colds. Wearing the scarf is only one important way to help keep cold symptoms at bay. Others are:

  • Wash hands – do this often and keep them away from your nose and mouth.
  • Cough into elbow – this prevents germs from spreading through touch.
  • Reduce exposure to sick people – coughing and runny noses spread germs.
  • Flip collar up to block wind – pop that collar, not just for fashion but for your health.
  • Exercise – just because it’s cold outside does not mean you cannot exercise.

For the occasional times you just do not beat the illness, there are a variety of ways to help with the symptoms:

  • Lymph nodes on neck fill and and the congestion in your head is tight, use biofreeze, sombra or mentholatum directly under the base of your skull, and just inside each of the two vertical neck muscles at the center of the neck.
  • Wrap towel around neck works for sore throats.
  • Plenty of rest and fluids –water or green tea, no sugary drinks like soda and juices.

Supplements such as Emergen-C can help your body recover some nutrients lost through diet and exercise. There are varieties that help boost your immune system during the cold winter months, enhance energy, replace electrolytes, or post work out formulas.

Article by Dr. Lynn McIntosh. Dr McIntosh is a board certified Chiropractor, licensed in Kansas and Missouri. In addition to being licensed to provide general chiropractic care, she is also a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, working with athletes from multiple disciplines on specific sports-related problems and a Certified Acupuncturist. She can be found on the internet at KansasCityChiropractic.com.

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