In Traditional Chinese Medicine the seasons are associated with the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Unsurprisingly, summertime is associated with the element of fire. Fire represents maximum activity. In nature, everything is at its peak growth during the summer. Likewise, our qi/energy is in its most active state.
Moving into the warm summer months, it is important to be aware of the connection we all have to our seasonal environment. During the hot summer days, we are living in a warmer climate and are often more active due to sports – both of which cause sweating, which leads to dehydration, heat stroke, and other problems due to heat.
Diet and Digestion. The focus on diet and digestion during the summer months is simple. Stay adequately hydrated, and eat cooling and easy-to-digest foods. Watermelon and low-sugar coconut water can help with hydration. They can be more effective than suggesting people carry around a gallon jug of water to obsessively drink during the day. Instead of coffee, experiment with different types of green or white teas. I love chrysanthemum tea for the summer months. This easy-to-brew tea is a staple for lowering heat symptoms and can easily be enjoyed either warm or cool. I often suggest a combination of chrysanthemum and chamomile to drink in the evenings after busy summer days to encourage rehydration and deep, restorative sleep.
Here are a few other tips to maintain balance this summer:
Adjust your sleep schedule. Take advantage of the long days by getting up early, going to sleep later, and taking a siesta in the middle, hottest part of the day.
The Yin and Yang of Activity. Summer is a high-energy season. I suggest getting a lot of exercise during the summertime. Along with running, biking, swimming, hiking, or whatever you choose, I recommend incorporating some slower, more mindful movement. Practicing restorative yoga or choosing to meditate in stillness, outside, can be great for staying in tune with your body’s needs and cultivating mindfulness throughout your day.
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. Both can help us stay balanced throughout the summer months. This is a time of year when many of us take trips – acupuncture and herbal medicine can help the body adapt to travel, stay balanced, and deal with jet lag.
Feel free to reach out with any questions or for support during this time: email@example.com