As the year of the monkey appears again after 12 years, it is time we look on some amazing Far East health secrets. The people of China are well known for taking care of their health from the inside as well as the outside, with people often praising their youthful looks and strong health. Here are three long-standing health tips for the Chinese New Year, to live by.
The elixir of life – green tea
The health benefits of green tea have always been recognised in China, but now the rest of the world seems to be catching on. China had been using the tea leaf for millennia and just like our British tea it is a daily essential for many. However, although the traditional British tea can sooth our British nerves it is the green tea that wins on its health benefits. Green tea comes from seeds called Camellia Sinensis. They are packed full of antioxidants which in turn help fight free radicals that can help decrease the signs of ageing in the body. The regular consumption of green tea has helped many in reducing high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems and strokes.
The oil of youth – camellia oil
Camellia oil comes from camellia sinensis, and if you are thinking that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same seed that it used for making green tea. The oil itself is nicknamed 'tea seed oil', and all the great properties you find in green tea you will find in camellia oil as well. The main difference is how it is used. Those who live in China have used this oil as an emollient to help nourish their skin and also as a hair treatment to keep hair follicles strong and healthy. Also, due the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties it is great for soothing and promoting wounds to heal.
The massage of vitality – Chinese reflexology
Chinese reflexology is a traditional Chinese form of medicine, which has been used for many centuries in China. Reflexology itself is a massage technique that focuses on the pressure points in the feet and hands. The Chinese and many others believe that by stimulating different points in the feet you can stimulate different parts of the body. The benefits of reflexology are improved circulation and a strengthened immune system.
Studies done on the science behind reflexology have also suggested that the technique can help decrease anxiety and depression. One researcher found that reflexology helped reduce depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women. [i]
Chinese reflexology is also used throughout Japan and Taiwan, with many using it on regular occasions to improve their health.
[i] Williamson et al (2002). Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms. BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 109 (9) p 1050-1055