It's been a nasty spring. Snowing in April? Even those of us who would take winter over any other season were like, "Okay, I'm over this." Things are finally looking up. How are you going to kick mind and body into gear and get all you can out of the seasonal change?
What the experts say
"Herbalists like to recommend a tea of nutrient-rich spring tonic herbs including chickweed, dandelion greens, cleavers, parsley, nettle and alfalfa to help transition out of the long winter months. Other post-winter-blahs botanicals include oatstraw, borage, damiana and particularly the lovely little mood elevator St. John's wort. Tip: make time to take in the beauty of nature - a solo stroll through the 'hood or your favourite park will do wonders, especially if you tune in to those emerging shoots, buds and blossoms that confirm that indeed we are at one with the universe."
the Herbal Clinic and Dispensary, Toronto
"Use oils in a diffuser to boost your energy. Citrus oils are energizing and stimulating. My absolute favourite is grapefruit, which is great for mental fatigue and gets circulation moving after a long winter. It helps fight off colds, and is uplifting! It acts as an antidepressant. Fir balsam invigorates and lifts you out of a passive or lethargic state. It grounds, helps deal with stress and empowers the mind. The sharp, spicy scent of black pepper energizes the body, strengthening the nervous system and boosting immunity. Instead of reaching for another coffee, have black pepper on hand to get you through the day. The spicy herbaceous scent of sweet basil is awakening and clarifying. After a long winter, sweet basil brings you to the here and now. Don't use essential oils if you are pregnant."
Province Apothecary, holistic health practitioner,
aromatherapist and reflexologist, Toronto
"The spring season is the perfect time to cleanse your body. Drink 1 cup of lukewarm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon upon waking to stimulate the liver and digestive organs. Start each day with a hydrotherapy treatment. This improves both lymphatic drainage and overall circulation for detoxification. At the end of your shower, turn off the hot water and let the cold water blast your feet and hands. Start with 30 seconds of cold water. Once tolerance has been built up, try two or three cycles of hot-cold, hot-cold. Always finish with cold water. Introduce a green drink to your daily regimen. Mix 1 tablespoon powdered green drink in 1 cup of water and drink 30 minutes before breakfast. This adds nutrients as well as detoxifies. Increase bitter-tasting and dark green vegetables to support the liver's ability to metabolize toxins."
"Colour sets a mood, a tone, a trend for the season. The blues to take us out of winter are exquisite shades of sapphire, slate and crispy twilight hues. Accent these cool alluring shades with warm, steamy colours like magenta, crimson and even bubble-gum pink. This can boost your energy level and let you burst into spring."
colour therapist, Spectrahue Light & Sound Inc, Toronto
"Re-emerging from the cocoon of winter can bring you face to face with the fact that your body hasn't moved or breathed deeply in months. The most effective way to hyper-oxygenate your body and detox is dry-scrubbing: take a semi-rough towel, bring it to your face and gently polish your bones. This is not just to exfoliate, but to break up the tension that lies between that towel and your core. Then scrub your scalp like you're washing your hair. Do the same for your hands and feet and, if you want, your entire body. Don't forget to breathe."
master trainer, Gyrotonic Expansion System®, Carmel, California
"The best thing to boost energy is exercise, even just walking. Also eat less, eat more veggies and poo more. Better sleep is also key. Some good sleep hygiene tips: go to bed before 11 pm. Do not surf the internet before bed. Reading is good before bed, but not TV or computer. American/Canadian ginseng is good to boost qi."
Chinese medicine practitioner, Toronto
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