Health | December 8th 2016

3 Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy this Winter with Chinese Medicine Expert Paige Bourassa

‘Tis the season for coughing and sneezing, and here at HBFIT, we’re doing everything we can to stay healthy as the weather changes. We met up with Paige Bourassa from Paige Acupuncture and Whole Body Wellness in NYC, and she gave us the low-down on using Chinese Medicine to acclimate our immune systems to the changing weather. Check out what she had to say!

As the seasons change and we go from hot summers with a glass of rose in hand to chilly winters and a glass of Malbec; your health regime, just like your wine, needs changing too. Since your immune system does a yo-yo act as it acclimatizes to colder weather, it’s common for a lot of us to to suffer from fall time allergies, such as colds and flus. The good news is, thanks to some ancient Chinese medicine tricks you can ward off the fall sickness that most of your office is suffering from. Here are 3 ways to keep healthy:


  1. Start the day hot

The best way to wake up your stomach and your immune system is to start the day with a hot and spicy cup of lemon, cayenne and ginger water. Ginger is a Chinese herb used in many cold and flu herbal formulas to fight colds, boost immunity, warm the body and improve digestive function. Add that with the cleansing properties of lemon and the invigorating boost of cayenne (boosts digestion and gets circulation pumping) and you’re giving yourself a powerful immune tonic to start the day.


  1. Keep your neck warm

Ever notice how as soon as you get sick the first thing you want to do is bundle your head and neck up? Well here’s why: there are a set of Acupuncture points situated around the neck and head called “Wind Gates”. These points are gates for Qi (or “energy”) to flow in and out of the body. Unlike regular gates they open both ways which means they are incredibly susceptible to external cold and wind briskly chilling through your body. If your immune system is already weak and is repeatedly attacked by the cold and wind in areas around your head and neck, it is the first line of defense to fall. The solution? Make sure you’re wearing a scarf with your coat and check to see if your desk at work or home is under an air vent. Sitting for long periods under the flow of air keeps your immune system constantly working to find a balance leading it wear out. Fuzzy slippers under the desk and a wrap around your neck ensures you’re the coziest (and healthiest!) at the office.


  1. Raw doesn’t always equal healthy

Ever feel bloated and heavy after eating a salad or smoothie? Although raw foods like salads seem like the obvious choice for keeping healthy, Chinese Medicine disagrees. According to Chinese Medicine our digestive systems and bodies best process food that is cooked and warm. When cold and raw food enters our nice warm stomach full of acids and digestive juices, it takes over double the time to digest and assimilate which taxes our body’s Qi (energy) causing fatigue and bloating. Does this mean you’re off the hook for your veggies? Not quite. Ideally you would cook your veggies, have steamed greens, or roasted beets, and a rainbow full of cooked veggies on your plate beside your protein.  


Paige Bourassa is a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbologist with a practice in the heart of New York City. For more information on her and the practice visit: