Winter Wonder – Winter tips and news

Frosty Morning in Forest

The winter solstice in Western culture symbolizes the start of Winter. However in the Chinese Solar Calendar (versus the Lunar Calendar), the solstice is the mid-point of winter. The start of Winter or rather the cold trend, began in November. That makes sense to me. I remember growing up not understanding why we say it’s the first day of Winter on Dec 21, when we have already had snow on the ground and it’s cold outside. Then I learned about how the Chinese view the seasons, and it made sense. Hence why I’ve been sharing it with you so you can understand a different perspective of energy that can be helpful. This Chinese calendar guides and prepares us not only for the weather and preparing for farming, but also Feng Shui, and Astrology impacts. It is a way of analyzing how energy in the world affects us and how we can live in harmony with it. Not every Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner is aware of this and how it works. Acupuncturists and TCM practitioners with this specific advanced training, can use this calendar for health, to treat seasonal disorders, for example, or plateaus in treatment.  Be sure to ask next time you are in if you would like to know more!


So what do you need to know for the Winter? Here are some tips from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) view. A Guide for the Winter season:

In Chinese Medicine, Winter is the season of hibernation and conservation. Plants shed their leaves, their sap descends and they stay in a dormant state until the Spring. Animals retreat into their dens for months at a time. Our bodies are also in tune with this seasonal cycle. We want to sleep longer, crave for warm hearty food and want to stay home more in the winter. This is perfectly natural. Go with the flow of nature – the sun rises late and sets early – adjust your sleeping patterns accordingly and rest more during the winter. Fresh fruits are not as readily available in the winter – this is nature’s way of giving us a hint. Eating foods with a “cold” nature (raw foods, salads, iced drinks) impairs the immune and digestive system as it works harder to warm the body. Grains, beans and meat (foods easily stored in the winter) are recommended. Protect your body against the cold and helping your defensive Immunity Qi by bundling up and wearing a scarf.
TCM Wellness News! We are excited to tell you about 2 upcoming wellness events we are having at the clinic! First on the plate is our annual Lunar New Year celebration where you and anyone you invite, can receive free mini-sessions with our practitioners!
Mark this date on your calendar:
Tuesday February 17, 2015 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm!

 Second on the plate is our first TCM Wellness forum! Every season we will be having a public forum on one particular topic. There will be a brief 15 to 20 minute talk by one of our practitioners on that topic. Then you will get to ask questions to our entire panel of practitioners here at Red Tree Wellness! This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about a health topic you’re interested in and receive more guidance on it by our TCM experts. Do you have a friend or family member that has been curious or affected by a health condition that you think would benefit from this? Bring them! This forum will be held in March, and we will announce the date in the new year. Let us know of health topics you would like discussed!

Speaking of talks on topics, tune in to CBC to listen and watch Sonia Tan talk about what next year’s Wood Sheep has to bring, its perspectives, and how it ties into taking care of ourselves. The radio interview is with Margaret Gallager and will be aired on her show Dec 27/28th. The TV interview is with Gloria Mackarenco on the show ‘Our Vancouver’, airing January 3, 4 & 5!

Hey did you see our new YouTube educational series called TCM Tea Talk? We decided to start a mini-talk show on health topics while getting to know our practitioners a little bit more on a fun level. We have lots of laughs making these and we hope you enjoy them. Please share if you like them, and let us know of topics you would like us to cover! Check it out on YouTube.


Continuing on our series of sharing TCM Wellness, we have Tui Na tips from Sheralyn Hoiland, BSc, RAc, our resident Tui Na massage practitioner.  

 Tui Na (twee-na) therapy takes the basic theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to strengthen the body through sustained, even movement and forceful manipulation, in a gentle way. Creating a deep penetration to achieve desired therapeutic effect.

 Tui Na can be a great aid through cold and flu season. Through the stimulation of acupuncture points and meridians, Tui Na can help build the immune system, or if the pathogen has already entered the body Tui Na can reduce symptoms and help the body recover faster.  

 A great point which can be stimulated on your own is called Hegu (LI 4). It can help reduce the symptoms of sinus pressure, runny nose, sore throat and headache and can help the body recover faster. It is located on the dorsum (non-palm side) of the hand between the thumb and index finger at the highest point of the muscle bulge when you bring your thumb next to your index finger. Find the most sensitive spot and apply pressure by squeezing Hegu from both sides (the dorsal and palmer side). To increase immunity massage the point with small circular motion in a clockwise direction 12-36 times. To reduce symptoms massage in a counter clockwise direction 9-27 times.

 Consider having a full consultation and Tuina treatment designed especially for you. It is a great way to relax, recover and treat yourself during the Holidays.

 — Sheralyn Hoiland, BSc, RAc


Take good care during the rest of the year and the holiday season.  In the flurry of it all, remember to do what you need to do in order to find your balance and take care of your self.

Yours in good health and happiness,

Sonia & the Red Tree Wellness team


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