Jenise Parris’ Tips for Holiday Health

The holiday season is upon us, which often brings plenty of stress and sickness. To help us (and you) beat the winter sniffles, we caught up with Jenise Parris, acupuncturist, herbalist, and health expert (and our health guru).

You have an impressive history in alternative medicine. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

For the past 12 years I have been practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine here in NYC. I got my master’s degree at Pacific College of Chinese Medicine, where I studied acupuncture and herbal medicine. I’ve also traveled to China for advance studies in acupuncture and herbal medicine.

It is a very gratifying medicine, as we work to establish a balanced approach to healing and wellness.

What are pitfalls during the holidays? What should people avoid to maintain their health throughout the festive season?

I find that the holidays can stress people with the need to do it all. Expectations of family, friends, work colleagues and the demands of the holidays on our time, resources, and stamina can lead to feeling exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed.

It’s helpful to stay focused on the most important aspects of the holidays and turn your attention to pursuing those endeavors. For some, that might be volunteering, baking cookies, making that special dinner, seeing family and friends. Keeping true to what is most meaningful will help you from becoming stressed and frazzled, leaving more time to relax in the loving and sharing time of the season.

On the flip side, what are the things that people should do to stay healthy?

Start your day with eight ounces of pure spring water with lemon, eat a healthy, nutritional breakfast, and get out and move your body with a brisk walk, cross-country skiing, or yoga! Find daily quite time to reflect, to breath deeply and fully, to release pent up stress. Live with joy and gratitude, focusing on all the abundance in your life. Keep sugar, high fatty sweets, and alcohol to a minimum during the holiday season. I like the 80/20% rule… 80% healthy organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and 20% treats that are not all so healthy.

What is one daily action that people can take to supercharge their immune system this time of year?

Take a probiotic every evening and eat super nutrient-dense foods foods like goji berries, chia seeds, blue green algae, and ginger, which can give the immune system an added boost.

What is one thing in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is weird but totally works?

Cupping is weird but it really works on releasing tight spasming muscles and increasing circulation.

Is there anything else you want to add?

It is an honor to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine and to be apart of the healing journey in so many lives.


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