It's Summertime and The Living's Easy: A TCM Guide To Surviving the Summer Heat
The summer season represents an outward expression of energy, expansiveness, movement and activity. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), summer is the season associated with the element of fire, the organ systems of the heart and small intestine, the color red and the emotion of joy. Summer is the time for growth, expansion, light, abundance and movement.
TCM encourages a natural balance within the seasons for optimal health. 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 (I.e. experience depression) or have an excess of joy (I.e. mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire element include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia.
Tips for Summer Health
- Awaken earlier in the morning/go to bed later in the evening.
- Rest at midday.
- Refrain from anger; try to keep calm and even-tempered.
- Summer nutrition
- Add pungent flavours (eg. cranberries, pomegranates, turnips, turmeric, marjoram) to your diet
- Increase intake of cooling and hydrating foods such as watermelon, apricot, lemon, peach, asparagus, bok choy,orange, cucumber, dill, cilantro, seaweeds, and white mushroom
- Drink plenty of fluids. Keep a pitcher of water with slices of lemon and cucumber with you and sip it throughout the day.
- Eat in moderation. Over consumption of any food can lead to indigestion, sluggishness and possibly diarrhoea.
- Stay away from dairy, heavy, greasy, and fried foods.
The Acupuncture Point For Summer: Yintong a.k.a " The Third Eye"
Acupuncture has been found to be helpful with all types of emotional and mental disorders, from stress and anxiety to schizophrenia. Often used for such treatments is Yintang, a point located between the eyebrows , sometimes referred to as "the third eye". This powerful point is used to calm the mind, enhance one's ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep, and relieve depression.
In Health & Happiness,
Christa Angell TCM R.Ac, D.Ac,
TCM Acupuncturist; Women's Health Specialist