We’re in the peak of the summer season, when things are the most yang in nature - hot, bright and full of energy. It’s a time to channel childlike curiosity and excitement - let the sun fill your energetic vessel; close your eyes and bite into a juicy peach or tomato; hold hands with someone you love after dining al fresco. In Chinese medicine, summer belongs to the Fire element. This time corresponds with the heart, the organ system that allows for social connection, laughter and joy.
Food as medicine:
Due to the warmer weather, we can incorporate some foods that are cooler in nature into our diet…think salads, fresh fruits and veggies. Try not to go too crazy with iced drinks or ice cream, especially if you’re having digestive trouble. Too much cold food can put out our digestive fire and lead to bloating or bowel irregularity.
If you’re feeling hot, irritable or dehydrated, snack on some watermelon and munch all the way down to the rind. Watermelon, or Xi Gua, is considered to be a medicinal herb that clears “summerheat” and generates fluids. The white flesh closest to the rind is bitter and considered even more energetically cooling.
Typical summertime imbalances:
During these months I tend to see some symptoms of excessive heat in the clinic: skin eruptions; irritability, anxiety or frenetic energy (heat loves to rise upwards and agitate the heart-spirit); insomnia or restlessness; palpitations, etc. Custom acupuncture, herbs and supplements can address these imbalances so you feel more at ease and can enjoy this time to the fullest.