In winter, nothing is more unpleasant than the feeling of being cold. To remedy this, you need to pamper your extremities, the most exposed to chilly weather. Using just a few minutes of targeted self-massage you can help you body better cope with the cold.
Faces are in the line of fire, and hands and feet will also suffer straight away from the sharp drop in temperature. Finally, you must keep your stomach warm, which can start to feel the strain when it gets cold. And don’t forget your kidneys too, at the risk of letting the cold into your body’s core.
Here’s a 7 step guide of self-massage techniques to get warming energy circulating around your whole body, so you can beat the winter cold.
Energise your face before hitting the cold
One of our body’s worst enemies? Variations in temperature. Massaging the face will stimulate micro circulation, giving your face a protective shield of warmth before going out into the brisk morning air.
Self-massage technique 1: Rub both hands together to start with, to warm them up. Put them on your cheeks, either side of your nose and gently rub them before moving upwards on your head. Move your hands behind your ears and then down the length your neck. Do this 5 times.
Self-massage technique 2: Massage the sides of your nose, rubbing slightly on each side, using your middle finger. Work from the bottom to the top. Then finish by following the line of your brow out to the extremities of your eyebrows. Repeat this 5 times.
Self-massage technique 3: Massage the ears between thumb and forefinger with 6 circular movements and then move down to the tip of your earlobe sliding with your thumb. Repeat 5 times.
Don’t forget: cover your head when you go outside, with a hat, beret or shawl! More than half of your body heat escapes from the top of your head.
Keep hands and feet warm during a cold day
The harsh change from hot to cold temperatures can upset micro-circulation. However, blood flows through your vital organs as a priority and will bypass the extremities… which get coldest first. To acclimatise to the cold and allow your body to move more easily between being uncovered to covered, pamper your hands and feet:
Self-massage technique 4: Warm up your feet with a fast self-massage as socks or tights don’t actually make much difference to the warmth of your feet. The heat generated through this energy boost will spread through your entire body. You should start with the ends of your toes ideally. Then massage the whole of your instep firmly with the help of both thumbs and your palms. Carry out a movement which starts from the tips of your toes and ends at the heel. You will improve the flow of blood through veins and relieve any tension resulting from the cold.
Self-massage technique 5: Intertwine your fingers and rub your palms together, one against the other. When you feel a tingling sensation, this is an indication of better blood circulation. Unfold your fingers and move on to smoothing, between your thumb and your forefinger. For this movement begin at the bottom of the hand and work towards the nail.
Warming up the body after a cold day
Even if it is protected by clothing, the body still needs to be kept warm. There are two strategic points to concentrate on at the end of a cold day; the stomach and the kidneys, which can react strongly to low temperatures. The goal here is to prevent yourself from catching cold.
Self-massage technique 6: The stomach (the original cauldron of energy, in Chinese medicine) needs to be kept warm above all else, even more so as it dislikes the stress of the cold and this leads to various stomach complaints. It is very simple, over your jumper, put your hands one on top of the other, beneath the navel, and turn them clockwise. Do this 15 times.
Self-massage technique 7: To warm up your kidneys, where our vital energy comes from, you can drum them a little with closed fists on either side at the base of your back. Around 50 of these quick little ‘taps’ will do, you will feel heat invading your pelvis. Once this is done, the cold won’t have such an easy route into your body!
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