The summer is a time to warm us up and celebrate the beautiful life we live.

This is the most important season for growth. Gardens are full of vegetables and flowers to harvest.  This weather is a great chance to help people come together and spend time laughing and watching their families bloom.  

In Traditional Chinese medicine, the summer corresponds to the element of fire, and since the fire is felt most intensely, it is important to focus on rebuilding the energy used during the winter and spring seasons.  Summer gives us time to manage our schedules and balance our activity and relaxation, start up meditative practices, tend to your garden, and reconnect with nature.

The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine is known as one of the founding textbooks on Traditional Chinese Medicine, speaks of the summer in this ancient text:

 “In the three months of summer there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge, there is intercourse between heaven and earth.  As a result, plants mature and animals, flowers, and fruit appear abundantly.
One may retire somewhat later at this time of year, while arising early. One should refrain from anger and stay physically active, to prevent the pores from clogging and closing the Qi from stagnating.  One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than other seasons.  Emotionally, it is important to be happy and easy going and not hold on to grudges, so that the energy can flow freely.”

The fire element gives us our enthusiasm for life.

The heart in Chinese medicine is related to the element of fire.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart is responsible for the physical movement of blood, but also our emotional well being.  In many Chinese texts, they refer to the heart as an emperor, responsible for keeping the peace and harmony of the body.  When we begin to feel flustered, overwhelmed, or anxious, it impedes on the smooth flow of the blood throughout the body.  Our ability to manage stress, deal with environmental changes, and keep a clear mind is all very dependent on the heart.

Symptoms associated with imbalances of the fire element:
– Restlessness, agitation, explosive outbursts of energy
– Insomnia, sleep issues
– Palpitations, irregular heartbeat
– Anxiety, depression, phobias
– Rashes, hives, itching, skin eruptions
– Excessive or lack of perspiration

There are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy during this summer season.  As much time as we are spending outside exercising and making sure we are active, it is important to also create time to quiet the mind, relax the body, and begin practicing healthy self care techniques.

Breathe.
 Inhale in the crisp, clean air into the lungs, through the diaphragm, into the stomach, and exhale the tension and ruminating thoughts.

Engage the five senses.
The sights and smells of the trees and flowers in the summer enliven each day.
Walking barefoot in the grass gives us a chance to focus on how the textures feel on our feet, helping to ground our energy and reconnect with the earth.
Listen to the sound of the birds chirping, bees buzzing, and the leaves in the wind.
Taste the fresh fruits and vegetables; take your time enjoying nature’s bounty.

Drink lots of pure, fresh water.
As we spend more time outside, it is extremely important to rehydrate.  Be sure to drink eight to ten 8-oz glasses of water each day.  If you are not feeling thirsty, try to be sure to drink water with every meal. 

Eat cooling foods
Raw foods can help reduce heat in the body. Enjoying flavors of vegetables in fruits when they are in season is the best.  Eat slowly, and be sure to add foods such as spinach, kale, and arugula.  The bitter flavors help to support the heart health.

Exercise
Regular exercise helps the circulatory system to move the blood to the extremities and release excess heat that builds up in the body.  Sweating helps to eliminate toxins from the body and strengthen the muscles.  Cardio workouts are extremely important in getting the heart to be strong and healthy to manage the bodily function.

Call us today for a free 15 minute consultation, get your body back in balance this summer and feel your best! (631) 424-8602