We’ve reached the beginning of August and although our weather has been a bit out of whack (at least here in NYC) we still have more of this summer season to look forward to. We’ll have more long days and plenty of sunshine. In Chinese Medicine, this time of the year is considered to be of utmost yang. It is also the season of warmth, growth, connection, creativity, and activity.
In the Chinese Medicine Five Element Theory, the season of summer pertains to the fire element which is related to the heart, small intestine, and pericardium. It is interesting that the element for this season is fire; not only is it the hottest time of year, but we also have this inner heat or energy in us that wants to move outward. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the function of the heart is not only to pump blood throughout our bodies. Our thinking, memory, consciousness, thoughts, and emotions all pertain to the heart. Therefore, while enjoying ourselves during the summer is at the top of most people’s agendas, we should also make sure to keep our heart, mind, and spirit healthy and in balance.
Below are some tips for keeping in balance with summer and the fire element, as well as to cool you down:
– Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water
– Stay calm and avoid anger
– Add cooling foods to your diet like watermelon, oranges, cucumber, dill
– Wear loose-fitting clothing (lighter colors are best for this season)
– Get enough restful sleep
– Rest during the middle of the day
– Try to cut back on heavy, greasy, fried foods
– Try acupuncture treatments to cool the body, calm the mind, and improve sleep