Living in Harmony Blog
Jul 11, 2014
Welcome to summer Seattle!! What a gorgeous summer we’ve had so far. Nothing beats summer in Seattle!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is the season that is the most “yang.” This type of energy has an outward expression with lots of expansion, movement and activity. You can see this kind of energy all around us. Plants grow quickly, we get up early and go to bed late, the weather is hot and the sun is out, improving people’s moods, and we’re drawn outdoors to participate in all the activities we’ve been longing for all winter. Summer is a time when the body’s qi and vitality are at its peak. It is finally time to cultivate the yang energy!
Traditional Chinese Medicine also teaches us that summer belongs to fire, one of the five elements. Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang. In human anatomy, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. Thus, top priority should be given to the heart, mind, and spirit for staying healthy in summer. Our memory, thought processes, emotional well-being, and consciousness are attributed to the heart and fire element. Therefore, summer is a time to nourish and pacify our spirits, and to realize our life's greatest potential as we find joy in hot summer days and warm summer nights.
When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm, and sleep is sound. When the fire element is imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire element also include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, anxiety and insomnia. Of course the summer with its heat can also exacerbate heat conditions such as hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and sinus infections,
Tips for Summer Health
- Awaken earlier in the morning.
- Go to bed later in the evening
- Rest at midday
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Add pungent flavors to your diet
- Refrain from anger; keep calm and even-tempered
- Have water with slices of lemon and cucumber and sip throughout the day
- Eat in moderation – over consumption of food can lead to indigestion, sluggishness and possibly diarrhea.
- Stay away from dairy, heavy, greasy, and fried foods. In summer, indigestion can easily occur, so a light and less-greasy diet is recommended
- If experiencing an imbalance in your fire element or present heat conditions have worsen, treat yourself to acupuncture which can clear heat, calm the mind and settle the spirit.