Blame it on Jack Frost.
Winter weather (cold temperatures, wind, dampness, and barometric pressure) has a significant impact on how your joints feel and function.
Unfortunately, cold weather in the winter months tends to increase joint and arthritis pain (especially in the knees and back). The good news is that there are several cold-weather joint pain remedies to warm up stiff and frosty joints.
Read on to learn how to use Chinese herbs, acupressure and a delicious recipe to ward off winter joint pain from within!
In winter, everything from the drop in temperature to the cold dampness in the air to a lack of daylight can make back pain skyrocket.
In our latest blog, we take a deeper look at why the winter months increase back pain, then share some of the best Chinese herbal remedies to stay warm and pain-free all winter long.Read the Blog
Stiff muscles, creaking bones and aching joints are common winter woes for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain. Why is winter so hard on joints? One reason is that cold temperatures slow down circulation and lead to painful qi and blood stagnation.
With the help of acupuncture or acupressure, you can reinvigorate the flow of qi and blood through your joints to relieve joint pain. Here are 3 acupressure points to try this winter for natural joint pain management:
Stomach 36 is one of the most commonly used acupuncture points because of the powerful effect it has on both the local area and the body at large. Located below the knee, it stimulates circulation through the entire joint while also encouraging healthy qi and blood flow from head to toe. Stomach 36 also reduces inflammation, boosts energy and improves immunity.
Stomach 36 is located on the lower leg, one hand-breadth below the knee cap and one finger-breadth to the outside of the crest of the tibia. This point may feel tender. Press for 10-20 seconds. Release and repeat on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
Kidney 3 and Urinary Bladder 60
If you suffer from joint pain in the back, or general back pain, this combo is an easy way to get relief. Kidney 3 and Urinary Bladder 60 both alleviate back pain, encourage circulation through the back and promote back health.
Kidney 3 is located on the inner ankle, midway between the highest point of the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Urinary Bladder 60 is located in the same place but on the outer ankle. Grasp each side of the Achilles tendon to activate both points at once. Hold for 20 seconds, then release and repeat 3-5 times. Repeat on the other ankle.
When cold weather, arthritis or a lingering injury is keeping you from moving with ease, Chinese herbal medicine can help. While you may find these two herbs lurking in your pantry as delicious spice ingredients, their medicinal versions have been used as Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic remedies for joint pain for thousands of years.
TURMERIC (JIANG HUANG)
Turmeric is acrid, bitter and warm – just what we need to combat cold and damp joint pain. It has a powerful pain-relieving action and is especially helpful for relieving cold joint pain.
CINNAMON BARK (ROU GUI)
Cinnamon bark is one of the hottest herbs used in Chinese medicine. It is commonly used to warm the body from the inside out as part of an herbal tonic for cold-type pain. You’ll also find it in many topical tinctures and dit da jows.
Turmeric and cinnamon bark come together in our Flexibili-Tea Herb Pack, a simple but effective formula that works to improve joint health and flexibility. It addresses the entire joint by strengthening bones, soothing muscles and relaxing tendons and ligaments. The warming effect increases yang qi in the body to keep stiffness and pain at bay long after the winter months have passed.Order Flexibili-Tea Herb Pack
Chicken soup is one of the oldest healing remedies in the book – and for good reason! A slow-cooked herbal chicken soup nourishes the body’s yang and qi, fights off the cold and restores our immunity.
For this recipe, we adapted Yvonne Oh’s healing Chicken Soup (from Souper Diaries: Chinese and Asian Food Recipes) with a few extra ingredients to focus the healing effects on winter wellness and joint pain relief.
Blanch the chicken pieces in a non-metallic pot of boiling water for a few minutes (until you see scum float to the surface). Remove from heat and set aside.
Rinse the dried herbs from the herbal pack (as well as jiang huang and rou gui if using), place them in a large pot with 8-10 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add blanched chicken and vegetables (if adding) to the pot.
Reduce the heat to low, add ground turmeric and cinnamon (if using) and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add chopped herbs and serve
Tip: Double this soup to make a large batch and store the extra in single portions in the freezer. Enjoy as a quick healing lunch or snack on particularly cold winter days or when your joint pain acts up.Find more herbal remedies
Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner (MSAOM, NCCAOM, Dipl.OM) and wellness writer. Through her educational content for Plum Dragon Herbs, Kate hopes to help others gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.
A Special Offer for Our Newsletter Readers
We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. As a special thanks to our readers, we created a discount code you can use to save 20% off on one future purchase*: NEWS20.
To be notified of our next quarterly newsletter and discount codes like these, become one of our regular email subscribers using the form directly below.
*Discount excludes buy 2, get 1 offer and herb grinder.