by Cristina Betto
As we move into summer on June 21st, we will be entering the element or phase of Fire in Chinese Medicine; and as people are organic beings, we reflect the characteristics of this phase as seen in nature.
Summer is a time for warmth and sunshine, it’s about outgoing energy, socializing and having fun. Outside our window nature is radiant with colour, the trees are fully clothed; the buds of springs have matured into full bloom and the flowers attract the pollinating bees and insects to maintain the cycles of life.
The Heart is one of four internal organs that are included in the Fire phase and according to Chinese Medicine, diseases can be caused by an imbalance – either an excess or deficiency – of our inner energy or qi.
When the Fire element is in balance, the Heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound. On the contrary, if the Fire element is imbalanced, as in the case of an excess of energy, we may suffer with anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, agitation, palpitations and feeling hot. When there is a deficiency we may show signs of tiredness, lack of joy, pallor, dizziness, poor memory, dream disturbed sleep and night sweats.
Acupuncture is very good at redressing these imbalances, but we can also do so by adjusting our lifestyles .
5 TIPS TO NOURISH YOUR HEART & BODY THIS SUMMER
Work at being joyful
The emotion associated with the Fire Element is joy. To remain healthy people need to be able to give and receive emotional warmth in equal measure. So go out, organize holidays, connect with new people and enjoy time with your loved ones and friends. Remember how to let go at bit, and reconnect with your laughter.
Cherish and enjoy your surroundings
Summer is the time of abundance. Plants are producing fruits and vegetables, flowers are blooming, there is colour everywhere. Feed yourself and your senses with this colour by bringing flowers into your home. Make sure the foods you eat reflect the colours and freshness of this season.
Include cooling foods into your diet
Chinese medicine favors warm foods as they are thought to ease the digestive process by causing your system to relax and to facilitate the breakdown of the food. Cold foods, in contrast, cause contraction and stagnation, which means your body has to work a lot harder to digest.
However, on very warm days, you can include some cooling foods such as watermelon, berries, peaches, cucumber, salad with dark and leafy greens, sprouts, fennel and mung beans. Due to its ‘cooling’ property, green tea is the perfect drink to quench thirst and to promote production of body fluids during summer time.
Summer is the time of the most yang activity within us. We feel more energetic and we want to get out and do all sorts of fun activities. But don’t forget to be aware of your body and what it’s telling you. Make sure you’re drinking enough water and not getting overly fatigued. If you play sports, check in with yourself. If you’ve sprained or strained anything, or feel like your body is out of alignment, don’t ignore it. Acupuncture can help strains and sprains heal faster and also can increase the body’s performance by bringing the body back into alignment.
Keep your Balance
Remember to balance all of the yang energy of summer with yin (slower, nurturing) energy. With the increase in activity that comes with more daylight hours during summer, it’s important to remember to take the time to slow down and rest as much as possible; to fully recharge from the previous season, and to prepare for the autumn.
Happy Solstice everyone!
Calabro, Sara: 7 Ways to Kick It Acupuncture-Style This Summer, AcuTake, discover how acupuncture works: http://acutakehealth.com/7-ways-to-kick-it-acupuncture-style-this-summer
Joswick, Dianne : Summertime! Chinese Medicine and the Summer Season https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Summertime!+Chinese+Medicine+and+the+Summer+Season
Reichstein, Gail: Wood becomes Water, Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life; Kodansha America, Inc (1998)