Shelea – Gaia Head Naturopath
In the coldest season of the year, we tend to snuggle up indoors, get cozy and even find time to indulge in binging on Netflix for hours on end. As wonderful as this can be, not so wonderful is the re-circulation of heated air that is capable of transferring more germs to the eyes, nose and throat, which then become portals, in which we subsequently pick up infections that lead to cold and flu like symptoms.
In order to help prevent this restricted airflow, we need to crack open a window, even slightly, and allow the room to breathe. Though more importantly, we want to build our immune system up to a point, so that it provides us with the best possible chance in preventing any infections infiltrating our system.
7 ways to increase resilience and build up our immune system:
Many of Echinacea’s chemical constituents are powerful immune system stimulants that can provide significant therapeutic value. A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that echinacea showed maximal effects on recurrent infections, and preventive effects increased when participants used Echinacea to prevent the common cold.
The berries and flowers of the Elder plant have been used as medicine for thousands of years. Even Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, understood that this plant was a key element in boosting the immune system. Several studies indicate that Elderberry has the power to boost the immune system, especially because it has proven to help treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu.
- Astragalus Root
Astragalus is a plant within the bean and legumes family that has a very long history as an immune system booster and disease fighter.
It’s believed that Ginger helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.
The Ginseng plant, belonging to the Panax genus, can help you boost your immune system and fight infections. The roots, stems and leaves of Ginseng have been used for maintaining immune homeostasis and enhancing resistance to illness or infection.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses and a Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is widely documented to be responsible for white blood cell production and also immune activity.
In love & health
Kaye – Gaia Day Spa Management
During the Winter season, many of us are dealing with harsh winds, cooler outdoor temperatures and dryness of indoor heating, which tends to leave our skin feeling dehydrated, irritated and itchy.
Some of the rituals we find most helpful to support and nourish oneself during Winter include:
- Soaking in a hot bath with a few drops of our favourite Retreatment Calm essential oil blend.
- Setting aside time to meditate or practise gentle yoga
- Taking a long reflective walk in nature
- Visiting your favourite Day Spa (Gaia, of course ; ) for a treatment, spa & sauna.
Why not make time for your own Winter “mini retreat” by indulging in one of our Gaia Signature Rituals to nourish your body and soothe your soul. Highly recommended by your Gaia family is the 3hour Detox Deluxe to cleanse, rebalance and restore. This detoxifying package includes an organic dead sea and green tea mineral steam room body polish, mineral rich clay and kelp body masque, nourishing warm macadamia oil scalp massage and a detoxifying full body massage. An indulgent treatment that will leave you feeling divinely nurtured and your skin glowing, refreshed and highly nourished.
To plan your Winter Spa experience, view our extensive menu of pampering and healing Spa Treatments here – www.gaiaretreat.com.au/day-spa/spa-menu
In wellness & good health
Danielle – Gaia Head Yoga Teacher
When temperatures are dropping, we tend to spend more time indoors escaping the cool Winter months. It’s the perfect time to focus on our breath and meditation practice or perhaps start one.
Take some time each day to sit quietly with your body, mind and breath. Leave the hustle and bustle of our sometimes very busy lives behind, away from computers, phones & noises, where you will not be disturbed.
If you have a regular meditation or pranayama (conscious breathing) practice and perhaps have let it slip, now is a great time to find some space in the day to get back to your practice or maybe evolve it into something new.
Some tips might come in handy, if you’re a beginner or just starting out. Find a regular time each day, morning, noon or night (not after a big meal, alcohol or coffee, etc.) and assume a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. You can lay down, but many people tend to fall asleep. Start with an easy inhale breath for 5 slow counts, hold for 3, exhale for 5, hold for 3 and repeat. Find a lovely conformable rhythm, eventually letting the count drift away and staying with this even flowing breath. Every exhalation may feel as if you are letting go of any worries, fear, anger, stress from your mind, body and day. Continue for 5-10 mins or as long as you need for tender calmness to engulf you. Find that deep peaceful space that resides within and travels with you wherever you go. Enjoy & savour the tranquillity and bliss. Yummm…
When you are planning your next Gaia visit, I’d be delighted to see you for some wonderful meditation and breath practices.
And don’t forget, Winter is a fabulous time to practice your yoga asanas (postures) at home, with me. Simply grab a copy of my new 3 x 20 Yoga Classes DVD to get your body moving. Follow this link – www.gaiaretreat.com.au/product/new-yoga-dvd-earth-air-fire
With love & light
Cam – Gaia Boutique Farmer
It’s time to don the woolly hat and fingerless gloves and get out in your vegie garden. Winter is my favourite time to be out in the garden, with its beautiful crisp clean air and misty mornings. In this season the plants are growing much more slowly with the sun lower in the sky and it’s a nice time of year to slow down and simply amble around the garden, pruning and weeding, tidying the garden ready for spring.
Our organic gardens are producing bountiful Winter greens, cabbages, celery, baby beetroot, radishes, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflowers, baby red onions and leeks, peas and beans. I’m trialling our first beds of celeriac and cos and have a harvest of broad beans coming up soon too.
In our new production garden, I have established 3 rows of asparagus, with Spring not far away. I am focusing on pruning back the old summer growth on, which allows the underground crowns to go dormant for the Winter, in preparation for a big Spring growth and lots of delicious asparagus spears. I also have our sweet potato runners propagated and planted into tubes, ready for transplant in Spring.
It’s a good time to build up and improve the soil in our flower beds ready for a bumper flower planting in Spring, lots of bright colours to celebrate the end of Winter.
Have a great time in the garden.
With food & love