Dr Isabelle Meurgey
The coldest, rainiest and darkest of the seasons, winter is the ideal time to focus on yourself, reset your body, boost your vital energy, and have some medical aesthetic treatments.
Take advantage of the winter months to beautify yourself. A lack of natural sunlight has a considerable impact on our body, as it slows down our metabolism. The cold weather and differences in temperature weaken our immunity and tire us out.
Before, winter was the season when, just like Mother Nature, man would rest and sleep longer than usual. Today, we no longer respect these natural rhythms. We work the same hours in winter as we do in summer and artificial light disturbs us, even when we are asleep.
So, how can we stay full of energy and not give in to seasonal depression? We need to take action on four levels: micronutrition, nutrition, lifestyle and aesthetic treatments.
Micro-nutrition to make up for any deficiencies
Essentials: vitamin D which, in order to be properly absorbed, must be taken daily (2,000 units/day minimum) and adapted to the person’s blood test results. Magnesium, which we are all lacking, should be taken morning and evening. The forms we absorb best and with the fewest side effects are glycerophosphate and bisglycinate.
Liposomal vitamin C is the easiest to absorb since the liposomes enable it to pass through the cell membranes. If the patient is suffering from serious fatigue, I recommend a drip containing a cocktail of high-dose vitamin C and B plus magnesium for an immediate boosting effect. Have this done once or twice over the winter.
Matching your food to the season: enjoy eating without gaining weight
Winter is the season to eat oily fish and omega 3s to protect your heart and stabilise your mood, and oysters to fill up with iodine and zinc. For that comforting feeling of fullness (without gaining weight), opt for thick and nutritious soups made from vegetables and pulses that are rich in protein, fibre, iron and magnesium. As for vegetables, eat plenty of cabbage, leeks and celery for fibre. To drain the liver, bitter vegetables like chicory and winter salad leaves are best. Fruit should be eaten raw, cooked and dried: apples, pears, citrus fruits, pomegranate, figs and prunes. Not for-getting nuts and seeds, plus a square of dark chocolate as a snack.
Aesthetic treatments to have in winter
Peels, lasers and LED light treatments for their anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits, but also because they improve your mood. LEDs are both calming and soothing, which make you feel good. It is a great time to improve your figure ahead of the spring with some cryolipolysis sessions. Brittle hair can be stimulated with mesotherapy, biopeptides and other regenerative techniques. Facial acupuncture – or Aculift – improves both the skin quality and muscle tone and also relaxes you by flooding your body with endorphins. Have four sessions spaced a week apart then one per season. To nourish your skin from the in-side, I recommend borage seed oil, evening primrose oil and sea buckthorn oil as well as a course of marine collagen and silica.
A seasonal anti-depression kit
The winter blues are a recurrent complaint I get from patients. First, I suggest eating breakfast next to a daylight lamp. During the day, take a 25-minute walk in the fresh air to boost your oxy-gen levels and metabolise vitamin D. For severe sufferers, I add saffron tablets, a natural antidepressant that should be taken every morning for 3 months. I explain that, in winter, the body is like a fallow field: this is the time to nourish its dormant seeds. Start focusing on yourself, learn how to love yourself and take the time to meditate for 10 minutes per day. Go to bed before midnight to increase your growth hor-mone levels. Hibernate, pamper yourself and be kind to yourself so that you feel better on the inside. Rid yourself of any old beha-viours that you no longer need. The ritual of making New Year’s resolutions is the perfect example of this. Revel in the slower pace of winter so that you can reinvent yourself in the spring.
Dr Isabelle Meurgey: Doctor of anti-aging and cosmetic medicine. Graduate of the Rouen medical faculty. Has specialised in preventative and performance medicine since 1997. Permanent member of the French Society of Aesthetic Medicine. Diplomas in Micronutrition, Auriculotherapy, Hypnosis.