Jul 24, 2015

The Heart of Summer

Wow Seattle we are experiencing an extended summer here in the Pacific Northwest! It feels like we have had summer for months now! Our bodies love the warm yang energy and so does the earth. The energy of yang is expansive, energizing, and overflowing. But remember it is all about balance. Too much yang can deplete the yin energy of our bodies and of the Earth. So just like the Earth we too need a break from the heat. So stock up on the yang energy as it fills up our wells of depleted qi, but also take time for nourishing the body with yin type foods such as celery, cucumber, seasonal fruits, and cooling drinks. As well as partake in yin type activities which calm an active mind such as yoga, swimming and meditation.

 

One of the benefits of summer is that our qi is at its most free flowing during this season. This gives us a unique opportunity to strengthen and prepare the qi for the fall and winter months. For people with weak wei qi (or immune qi), who are susceptible to frequent colds or flu’s, asthma, and allergies, summer and early fall are a great time to reinforce the qi so that it can be at its strongest during the cold and flu season. We recommend acupuncture and herbs 1-2 months before the susceptible season arrives in order to build up your immune defenses so that your qi is strong enough to ward off colds, flu’s, allergies, and asthma. This is where the idea of preventative medicine comes in. Many people use acupuncture for acute or chronic issues, but another way to reap the benefits of acupuncture is to seek treatment before a known issue occurs to prevent it.

Lastly, while the fiery element of your Chinese Heart has the capacity to bring us great joy and brightness, there can also be some issues when it becomes out of balance. The joyful giddiness of the Heart can run wild and become manic; and a disturbed Shen (or mind) can give way to anxiety, panic attacks, dream disturbed sleep and insomnia. In addition, due to the warm nature of this fire element, you can be susceptible to heat conditions such as flushing, hot flashes, inflammation, infections, an overall sensation of heat, and even dryness can be caused by too much Heart Fire.

Here are some ways you can honor your Chinese Heart, and keep the fire element in balance:

-Find ways to bring joyfulness into your life. This can be difficult when you are working, caring for others, and tending to daily chores and routines. However, if you can find moments for yourself and activities that you like to do–things that bring you joy–you will be nourishing your emotional Heart.

-Stay in the present moment. Looking into the future with expectations or dwelling in the past brings our heart anxiety and fear. Feeling gratitude for what we have brings us into the present moment and expands our hearts.

-Nourish your relationships with loved ones. The focus of the fire element is on relationships. Pay attention to the relationships that you have with your family, friends and co-workers. Speak your truth with an honest open heart and that is what will be returned in kind.

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