For many of us, holiday time is filled with meaningful spiritual rituals, time spent with family, and—let's be honest—stress, overeating, jam-packed schedules, and horrendous colds. Though there's no miracle cure for holiday chaos, taking the time for a little holistic self-care can provide you with the energy, nourishment, and equanimity you need to stay well. Try these remedies and a serene holiday season might just be within your reach.
Combine two traditional Ayurvedic treatments—abhyanga (self-massage) and shirodhara (a treatment in which oil is applied to the head)—by trading warm oil massages with your sweetie. After applying oil to your own bodies, sit in a warm tub and massage each other's scalp with sesame oil for 15 to 30 minutes.
Take a hot water bottle with you to bed to keep your body warm and stable. If you experience constipation (a common condition during fall and winter), apply castor oil to your belly and place the hot water bottle on top.
Both yoga and Chinese medicine share the philosophy that stimulating prana, or chi, keeps the body strong and balanced. But if you're too short on time for a full practice or an acupuncture session, you might try Immune Booster Spray by Buddha Nose (www.buddhanose.com), one of a line of sprays created by shiatsu practitioner Amy Galper to stimulate different nadis (energetic channels). Immune Booster has ingredients such as eucalyptus, oregano, and cinnamon to ward off airborne germs; surround yourself with a fine mist when you're unable to escape flu-ridden coworkers or before your next flight.