The Haramaki: It’s a scarf for your midriff

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Oh how I wish I had shares in the Kokoro Haramaki – why? Because I’ve mentioned it in pretty much every single publication I work for this winter. It’s one of, if not THE, favourite products I’ve tried all year.

A haramaki is effectively a scarf  for your tummy – you wear it under normal clothes and it just keeps the area warm. I love it because I have feet that normally feel like ice – if I put this on though, they warm right up. In fact, it’s such a quick reaction I tried it while typing this post. About thirty minutes ago my feet were freezing, I put on the Haramaki  and they are noticeably warmer already. Exactly why I’m not sure, although there’s possibly some biological theory that if my internal organs are toasty warm my body feels more secure about diverting blood to my extremities. It’s also very good at creating comforting snuggly feelings should you be having period pains, or cystitis (apologies to my male readers).

haramaki - scarves for your middle

There’s one for the whole family

In Japan people wear Haramaki for a slightly different reason. Japanese medicine has it that if the temperature of the stomach is too cool your system will be out of sync and you’re more likely to get sick – there’s a similar belief in Chinese medicine too. They believe that if your midriff is cold kidney energy will drain from the system – and this not only puts you at risk of urinary health issues, it also lowers energy and vitality. In fact, one of my favourite ever quotes came from an acupuncturist I interviewed on this very subject. She told me  ‘I spend most of January walking round wanting to tell people to cover up or pulling their tops down to cover their kidneys.’

That bit I can’t prove, but I can say if you get cold easily – but hate being bundled up (like me), or you’ve always got cold feet (like me), then why not give a Haramaki a try? You’ll find them at or at amazon click here to find all the different sizes and colours on offer. Oh and my top tip – the one in the first picture is unrolled all, the way – I wear mine doubled over as I find then it doesn’t interfere as much with normal clothes.

This is Day Four of a series exploring health, beauty, food and fitness in Japan. Trust me it’s more useful than it sounds.

NB: I am an Amazon Associate so if you do click the link above I do make a small commission if you make a purchase. this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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