Asian Secret #18 Ginger Tea Fends off the Flu

Ginger Tea

Flu season is here and virtually everyone crosses paths with someone who is sick during December-February. Beyond getting a flu shot, its a good idea to use natural flu fighters that are good for pumelling sickness in winter. Green tea and oranges are always a safe bet when you are feeling under the weather, but having a cup of natural ginger root tea can be especially helpful when fighting the flu.

Chinese and Western doctors both suggest their patients to cut up real ginger and boil it like tea. It can be bitter, so add some sugar to it if you’d like.

Don’t have ginger root? Most supermarkets carry it in their produce section. You can also put it in the freezer to keep it fresh throughout the winter.

Continue reading Asian Secret #18 Ginger Tea Fends off the Flu

Asian Secret #17 The Great Benefits of Bodywork

Goodbye Stress!

Whether you’re treating yourself or relieving pain, getting bodywork done provides a world of benefits. Bodywork can be any therapeutic or healing technique that involves touching, energy medicine, or physical manipulation.

Since many diseases can be triggered by stress it is vital that you find a healthy way to reduce it. For example, the profound effects of massage include decreased anxiety, enhanced sleep quality, improved concentration, increased blood circulation, and more energy!

Our lives have become so high-paced and stressful. It’s necessary to combat these causes of stress with enough stress reducers. Research shows that not finding a balance can lead to chronic disease, neurological disorders, and other injuries.

When is the last time you treated yourself?

Asian Secret #16 Get a Massage with a Friend

A Couples Massage

Not sure what to do this weekend? Bored of the same routines? Then try a massage.

Massage is as ubiquitous in Asia as getting together with friends to watch a football game in America. It’s a social activity and not as shady as you might think.

One of the best ways to enjoy a massage is to visit a spa with hot pools or hot tubs. Soak in hot water for an hour with a close friend and then go to the massage room. Get at least 45-60 minute massage and rest afterwards. Make an afternoon of your visit to the masseuse.

If you are worried about the price, just budget for it. Put spare change, or dollars, into your ME can everyday. When you reach $50-75, take it out and use it to get a massage. You will not regret it!

Asian Secret #15 The Human Touch

Two friends holding hands

A long two-hand handshake. An arm around a friend. A hand on the knee.

These may seem like ways to flirt, but they are very common among same-sex friends across many Asian countries. Men touch men and women touch women. Closeness is important for relationships and it should be shown in a healthy way.

While we’re on the topic… Remember to hold your loved ones and show them that you love them. Today, give them an extra long hug or hold a hand a little longer. Don’t worry about what it looks like.

The human touch can be more important than words. Continue reading Asian Secret #15 The Human Touch

Asian Secret #14 Give without Expectations

Friends and Family First

One type of glue which holds society together across Asia is the truly giving nature of friendships. Having lived in Asian countries since 2004, I had never experienced such generosity before coming here. One of the more friendly ways to show your sincere friendship is to treat others to a meal or buy a round at your table.

Charity starts at home. If you don’t donate to charity very often (or at all), why not spend a little extra on the people you care about most? Continue reading Asian Secret #14 Give without Expectations

Asian Secret #13 Eat raw Garlic

Cloves of Garlic

Gross… right? Most people think eating garlic makes your breath smell, but it’s not as bad as you might think. Actually, the healthiest diets in the world often include garlic, which helps fight off sickness by supporting your immune system and is said to decrease blood sugar.

One way to include garlic in meals is to buy garlic bulbs at the market, then chop them into slices and then throw them into your spaghetti sauce. (Sorry, sauce pre-made with garlic and herbs is not the same).

Taking garlic pills? There are some natural garlic supplements on the market that work well but nothing beats the benefits of  a clove of real garlic! I promise that if you build a relationship with the ingredients in your meals they will reward you. Continue reading Asian Secret #13 Eat raw Garlic

Asian Secret #12 Open a Window in January

Fresh Winter Air

It might sound uneconomical, but letting cool fresh air into your home or office can do a world of good. Specifically, staying in artificially warm or cold spaces for a long period of time is not good for your skin, say the Chinese. For one reason, conditioned air tends to take moisture out of your skin. This same air is also pumping out of a machine for hours and hours… There’s nothing natural about the quality of conditioned air.

Perhaps even more importantly, closing all windows and doors leads to the continual breathing of air that has germs in it and can’t escape. Without proper ventilation, germs stay in the air and you have a greater chance of getting a bug!

If you prefer to keep the rooms airtight in winter, make sure you step outside regularly and breathe in the nice crisp air of winter. Continue reading Asian Secret #12 Open a Window in January

Asian Secret #11 The Synergy of Food

Synergy of Food

How could a group of people who cook with oil and eat white rice everyday be so much healthier than folks on a scientific diet?

So much of a western, non-traditional diet tends to include preservatives and other unnaturally occurring additives. By embracing foods like Splenda and low-fat baked Lays, we are distancing ourselves from natural food and increasing our dependence on a system based on profit, not on what’s good for you.

Remember that food is more than the sum of its parts and people have been eating traditional diets for thousands of years.  So, get back to basics and be honest with yourself by just using natural ingredients instead of factory food.

Asian Secret #10 White rice instead of Brown

Sticky white rice

Most of the rice consumed in Asian countries is white although Brown and Wild rice are more nutritious. So, why eat white rice?

Because many people think it tastes better and some of the healthiest diets in the world include this traditional staple. And contrary to what you often hear, it’s not harmful to your body to eat white rice, whereas butter and jam on white bread might be…

Continue reading Asian Secret #10 White rice instead of Brown

Asian Secret #9 A good day starts with a good morning…

Sakura blossoms in Spring

An ancient Chinese saying reminds us that “A good day starts with a good morning, and a good year starts with a good Spring.”

This is why morning exercise is very important because is increases your chances of having a great day. Now challenge yourself to have a better year.

Spring is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. Plan out this new year and get things on the right track this Spring. Make this year happen on purpose.