Updated: Nov 14, 2019

An outpouring of winter love for you. A list of foods, herbs and lifestyle additions to improve mood and warm you up.

Holy basil, rose and lemon balm. These 3 herbs are imparters of joy. Holy basil will warm you and halt your worries. Rose will touch your heart and light a spark. Lemon balm is uplifting and cheery, with an immediate effect on your mood. Drink these in the form of tea.

Slather yourself in frankincense, cedarwood or rose essential oils which will enliven your mind and hug you like a warm fuzzy blanket. Dilute first in a carrier oil. Break your depression with pine, spruce, juniper, lavender, chamomile, bergamot or neroli in a diffuser.

Bringing pine, spruce and cedar branches into the home refreshes the air of germs to prevent colds and flu (the sap is one of the medicinal parts and where the aroma comes from) and fills the room with the uplifting scent of the forest. Genius! Did you know that wreaths were first used as a symbol for making it through the harsh winter without dying? The evergreen shrubbery symbolized the living thing that never dies, despite the frigid cold.

Add these spices and herbs to your foods to help replenish your deepest energy reserves and boost immunity: cinnamon, basil, black pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, astragalus, medicinal mushroom- reishi, chaga, lion's mane, turmeric, burdock.

The root vegetables will warm and satisfy the wintery need to rest and digest in peace. Jerusalem artichoke is delicious! Slice and saute along with sweet potato for a sweet and tonifying meal.

Sweet potato, winter squash, beets, carrots... these foods are mineral rich. They grow and ripen in the darkness of the earth. Eating root vegetables will impart your body, mind and spirit with nourishment that can not be found in the leafy vegetables. These sweet earthy roots feel like they are nourishing your roots. And they are!

Exercise to break away from winter blues. Move for 20 minutes and break a sweat. Or don't get sweaty, just take a walk on a treadmill, or take a nice walk in the snow.

Sitting in a sauna will warm you to your core. Infrared saunas provide the sunshine without the UV rays.

I am not gonna lie, acupuncture can quickly set you straight. Depression lifted, peace-induced. If you would like to try acupuncture, please contact me for an appointment.

Spirit- the essence of you, your deepest self, the core "you", the seat of your emotions and character, the "you" without fear-driven thoughts and societal conditioning. All of us humans get muddled sometimes during our lives, we have moments when we can not decipher who we are or what we want, what we need, what we love. We have moments when we do not understand the why's and how's of life. When we are trying to make sense of life's big questions, it helps to go inward, introspect, and find your own answers for yourself, within yourself. But the act of finding answers can be challenging, at times.

Acupuncture can connect us better to our core selves. Especially in times when we know that we are feeling lost and disconnected. Here's how: when the flow of Qi is at an optimal level during acupuncture, depending on which points are used, you may experience a greater sense of calm and peace from which a connection to who you really are inside, can arise more easily than if you were in the middle of your day and distracted, or working, or driving, etc. Acupuncture creates an environment for better self-awareness and the information gained is valuable for being oneself, which is really all we should be doing-- being ourselves. Besides uncovering information about yourself, acupuncture can help to align your emotional state and your physical body to a better state of correct Qi flow, which leads to a daily feeling of being connected to your self, your needs, and the way of living that is correct for you. Acupuncture can provide an additional way to experience better clarity and better connection to your inner knowledge. Would you like to give it a try? Do you have questions? Feel free to contact me!

#spiritmedicine #acupuncture #selfknowledge #selfawareness #soul #spirit #theway #lost #notlost #juniperhealingarts #illinois #chicagoillinois

Blooming flowers

It was 6 or 7 years ago when I really reflected on whether or not I know my own needs. I was sitting in a circle of women, at Adagio Holistic Therapies in Minneapolis. We were exploring self-care concepts and talking about how we feel. The question came directed towards me "Do you know your needs?" and I said, quickly, "Yes." But then, as we went around the circle talking about needs, self-awareness etc, the words of everyone else were fading and my inner words were becoming all I could hear. I was hearing "No Jamie. You do not know your own needs." I thought that knowing your own needs was a NO Brainer, and that of course we all know our own needs! I reflected on this idea for weeks. I found myself over the following months unable to understand my needs, unable to decipher my needs. Why was I doing anything that I was doing? What was motivating me? Were my needs motivating me? Did I even know what was good for me? Did I even know what makes me feel content? I was in a crisis! I felt the necessity to figure out what I need, why I need it, and how to get the need met... for the first time in my life. I was on fire to become a person who knows what is best for her. I spent the next 7 years on this mission, and I will likely, always, be fine tuning this skill. What a courageous person one must be to fight for her own needs! We are expected to throw our own needs under the bus in many situations! Expected to not have needs at all. Sometimes what we need is more sleep, sometimes we need help with something, we need to stop for a sandwich, we need to stop and process, tune into intuition, sometimes we need more time, sometimes we need everyone else to let us talk, we need to feel heard, we need other people to trust, we need to walk in the woods, or listen to the waves, sometimes we need to create something artistic, we need music, we need books, we need a good meal, we need a friend.

Sometimes we need to relax. Sometimes we need to hustle. I have made a commitment to myself to honor my needs, listen to my needs, and try to get them met as best I can. And I made a commitment to myself to leave any situations or people that force me to sacrifice too much of what I know I need.

What about you? Are you in touch with your needs for your life and your happiness?

© 2020 Juniper Healing Arts, Jamie Jablonski, L.Ac. All rights reserved.