To help you start winter off on the right foot and stay healthy all season long, ICICLE and Le Bon Marché hosted a special meeting with Elaine Huntzinger, an expert in traditional Chinese medicine. With tips rooted in an ancient vision, her knowledge teaches you how to take care of yourself and balance your energy.
A YIN SEASON
In Taoism, yinyang is present in all things. It is made up of two opposite yet complementary aspects for which one cannot exist without the other. Yinyang appears as a constant movement, where winter is not only the current winter season, yet also the future summer and the next winter.
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on balance. Winter is perceived as the season where the yin aspect of yinyang is at its peak. It is therefore recommended to eat foods and practise activities that will not only preserve, but also increase yang energy within the body. This is the time of year to nourish and replenish our energy.
In nature, winter is the season that calls for hibernation. It is where we stay inside for warmth and take time to slow down and meditate. To do so, Elaine advises us to honour a similar pace to that of the sun that sets early during this time, by going to sleep by 11 pm. Winter is the season where our bodies yearn for rest, the latter being one of the best remedies for seasonal depression.
Her tips span several aspects of daily life. When it comes to exercise, rather than running outside, she recommends indoor sports and gentle exercises, such as yoga or Pilates. To relax the body, a hot stone massage or sauna bath is greatly advised. And when it comes to warmth, something as simple as a hot water bottle will do the trick. It can be placed either on the base of the neck, where it meets the shoulders, or on the stomach, as both body parts are linked to the water element associated with the season.
Elaine Huntzinger is a renowned acupuncturist, an expert in facial rejuvenation and a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. Her wisdom offers ancient solutions that are not only easy to adapt, but are also beneficial to our stressful modern lives. Throughout her professional career, Elaine has treated thousands of patients – an experience which has helped her design a unique vision of what is essential to feeling good.
Her holistic approach takes into consideration every aspect of our lifestyle – what we eat, how we sleep, move, work. Her tips help us meet our emotional and physical needs during the winter season. They also help us develop healthy habits in order to prepare for a successful year ahead.
Private meeting with Elaine Huntzinger
Tuesday, 7 November 2023 – 6:30-8 pm
Le Bon Marché, Paris 7
Wool and cashmere scarf
Double face wool and cashmere coat
Hooded cashmere jumper
STAY HEALTHY WITH YANG FOODS
During winter, it is essential to heat our bodies from within to maintain the yinyang balance. Elaine encourages us to only consume warm liquids and foods. Staying hydrated is also key and can be done by drinking room temperature water or a cup of ginger tea with honey – ginger being particularly good for us in this season.
In traditional Chinese medicine, warm foods do not only refer to the temperature, but also the thermal nature. These type of foods create a warming sensation during or after digestion. Foods such as garlic, sweet potato, cinnamon, and red meat are recommended for their warming properties.
Seasonal vegetable soups and broths are great for this time of year. Elaine advises us to include black ingredients in our diet – the colour of the season – such as black rice or black sesame seeds. Supplements with vitamin C, turmeric or manuka honey will also help boost our system.
Feeling like cooking healthy foods? The bookstore of the ICICLE Cultural Space offers a selection of books with original and comforting recipes, that will give you new ideas.
FOLLOW THE RHYTHM OF NATURE
Whereas in Western societies, we talk about winter with apprehension, in Chinese culture the passage into winter is welcomed with kindness. It is considered an important role in the overall cycle as it marks the arrival of spring. It is the time of year to prepare our projects for the year to come and to meditate on the changes we wish to make.
Elaine advises us to follow the rhythm of nature and slow down. Winter is the ideal season for this as it is where we can cherish the time we have to connect with our innermost selves. It is also a time where she encourages us to strengthen our roots so we may prosper come spring. Muting distractions and listening to oneself should be given centre stage.
Crystals can also be utilised to help us feel good thanks to the energy they withhold. For this season, Elaine recommends adding rose quartz, malachite, black tourmaline, or moonstone to our homes. These will provide a soothing, cocoon-like nature and allow us to embed ourselves in cosy rituals that nurture our bodies by staying home.
Double face camel wool coat
A SOFT AND WARM HUG
Since 1997, ICICLE has set out to make a positive impact on the fashion industry. Its understated and timeless collections are crafted from natural fabrics, with eco-conscious methods in mind. This original philosophy is directly inspired by traditional Chinese thought, where the harmony between man and nature is a fundamental concept.
ICICLE’s Autumn / Winter collections apply ancient Chinese notions of layering up to combat the cold season. With this in mind, ICICLE endeavours to create coats with maximum comfort, that can be superimposed over cosy seasonal staples. With a warm embrace, they are designed to be fluid and lightweight, meant for contemporary life and every occasion.
Two important points deserve our full attention in winter: joints and kidneys. In traditional Chinese medicine, both are linked with the water element associated with the season. Elaine recommends covering them to protect them from the cold. Within ICICLE’s Autumn / Winter 2023 collection, she is particularly fond of knitwear, as it is warm and silky to the touch.
Natural fabrics offer outstanding comfort and softness. They naturally breathe and help our bodies regulate to the temperature. Cashmere, wool, and silk are ideal essentials for our winter wardrobe. Elaine recommends garments in undyed or plant-dyed fibres, that are gentle on the skin and great when you have sensitivities.
To keep our necks warm, she advises to always have a scarf with us. Both cashmere and silk are great for chillier temperatures. Ready to wrap yourself up in softness? ICICLE’s Autumn / Winter 2023 collection offers the utmost comfort.
35 AVENUE GEORGE V, PARIS 8
50 FAUBOURG SAINT-HONORÉ, PARIS 8
LE BON MARCHÉ, PARIS 7
ALL THE EVENTS