by Dr. Katie Borchert, Naturopath
The upcoming holidays prompt behaviors and emotions not usually expressed other times of the year. We eat differently, socialize and celebrate more, travel, see family, spend money and feel everything from elation to grief to extreme stress.
For whatever reason we put ourselves (and our cells) through this annually, it is becoming more apparent that stress comes along with this time of year. I used to think it was taboo to dread certain aspects of the holidays, but I see now that more people feel this way.
There’s plenty of fun and good cheer this season, and using naturopathic medicine can specifically help keep you strong, fit and happy. It’s never too late to add natural healing tactics to your holiday or better yet, daily plan.
These tactics include supporting organs and systems that tend to be most overused.
Several organ systems can be challenged during this time of year. I think the most important is the nervous system. All the planning, preparation, travel and poor sleep engages this system and keeps us in a sympathetic response state.
Natural herbal remedies, cleaner eating and soothing acupuncture can be used to keep a balance.
Another major system is the liver as a detoxification organ. Holiday gatherings with treats and alcohol present the body with less frequently seen chemicals. These can take extra work to fully detox. Supplementing with a post-holiday liver detox not only helps the liver but the nervous system.
Last, but not least, is certainly one of the buzz phrases of the year: immune system. It’s not a mystery as to why seasonal illness happens during the winter; the holidays have a big part to play.
Combine the increased sugar and stress with colder weather, staying inside, less sunlight, less outside activity, more parties, and yes, colds and flus develop. Using natural medicine year round promotes a strong immune response.
Even in the face of winter and holiday stress, we can still engage in everything we love about this time of year, with discretion, and still feel our vitality.