Winter is approaching fast, and being Vietnamese, we have all heard or practiced certain cold remedies that Western culture is often unfamiliar with. I’d like to share a Vietnamese remedy that seems to relieve cold symptoms and really helps to refresh you as well! It is the home made steam bath, or song as us Vietnamese like to call it. Here’s the low down on sweating it out:
Name: Homemade steam bath (or Song in Vietnamese)
What it’s good for: Relieving sinus congestion, helps you remove cellulite
To relieve sinus congestion:
- Fill a big pot 2/3rd of the way with water and bring it to a boil.
- When it’s boiling, put in some sea salt and lemongrass, enclose the pot with a lid, then turn the stove down to medium heat.
- Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the stove and carry the pot (with the lid still on it) to your room.
- Put the pot down.
- Then make a tent with a big blanket.
- Sit under the tent with the pot of boiled water (closed off with a lid) in front of you.
- Take off your clothes. Then push the lid off to reveal about ¼ of the pot. Sit and steam for a while, then remove ¼ more, then sit and steam, and repeat until the whole pot is exposed.
- Do this for 10 minutes.
- Then put your clothes back on and wait for 10 minutes.
- Take a shower to wash off all the sweat.
- You should feel less sinus congestion and much more refreshed after this regimen.
To remove cellulite:
- While you are steaming, pick an area with cellulite. Pick up the skin of the cellulite-laden area between your thumb and other fingers and knead the deposit thoroughly. By doing this, you are squeezing the cellulite away with your bare hands. Then pick up another section and knead that cellulite away.
- Work on one area of the body per day.
- Do this in a steam bath or sauna everyday for 10 minutes per day to break up cellulite deposits and help you slim down.
Why does kneading your cellulite in a steam bath work to eliminate it? I learned this from Dr. Stephen T. Chang, who is an internationally known scholar. He has been trained in both Western and Chinese Medicine, and his grandmother’s father was a personal physician to the Chinese Empress Tse-Shi (Tu Hy Thai Hau)–so you know he’s got some neat health tips for you.
According to Dr. Chang, our kidneys are the filters that separate waste water from the blood. When we drink more than six cups of water per day (including soups, fruits, and vegetables), our kidneys cannot filter it all. So what happens is that the water will travel back into the bloodstream to be eliminated through the skin by sweating.
If we don’t have a chance to sweat, the water will be retained in your skin. Over time, this water hardens into cellulite. So to get rid of cellulite, Dr. Chang emphasized strictly limiting liquid intake to less than six cups per day and kneading the cellulite away while you perspire.
Now back to the cold remedy. To actually make the cold go away, this supertonic recipe really works. At the first sign of a sore throat, I take a dose of this stuff and any symptoms go away. I personally use the bottled version of it because I’m too lazy to make it, but you can do the homemade version if you want. (Disclaimer: I am not associated in any way with any commercial interests that sell the supertonic. I’m just sharing what I’ve found to be a godsend to keep me healthy during the cold season. It’s my early Christmas gift for all you productivity nuts out there who hate getting sick as much as I do. Also, consult your medical professional before )