Summer Hot Fun Joy Abundance…Summer is the Fire Element and it’s time to check in with the Heart and Small Intestine. The heart houses the mind (or Shen) in Chinese medicine and it is the Emperor of all our organ systems. Any imbalance within this organ system can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety, forgetfulness, jumpiness, and or palpitations.
Our appetite for life is seen through our eyes and as a practitioner of TCM, I often look into your eyes to see what’s going on in your life, are you feeling satisfied, over worked, burdened or tired? It’s important to keep our Heart Qi in balance. Play but don’t play too hard, exercise but don’t exercise to hard. Fun and rest are very important in the summer because the heat in the summer can tend to build up and rise in our bodies.
The Small Intestine in Chinese medicine separates the pure from the turbid. There are many ways to interpret this. In its simplest form it’s the absorption of pure nutrients in the small intestine, leaving the turbid to be excreted out the large intestine. Philosophically, it can be your ability to process or filter your own emotions.
A nice cooling tea in the summer is chrysanthemum flowers and goji berries with a little honey. It cools the heart and the liver during hot sunny days. Green teas are also very cooling. I often make ice tea with herbs from the garden and add a little lemonade or white grape juice. It will keep in the fridge for a few days. Melons also clear body heat in the summer. So dig into those watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons. Cucumber, spinach, watercress and dark leafy greens all keep the body cool over the summer also, and don’t forget those yummy berries.
A nice yoga pose to keep the heart open is to roll up a towel and place it in the small of your back running up your spine while lying down with a pillow under your knees. This will relax your heart and help vent out any heat that has gathered in the body. Summer time is a very active time, trying out new sports, renos to the house, gardening… Make sure to pace yourself and start slowly. If you do get injured, take a rest, do some light massage and slowly regain your strength in the muscles you pulled or injured.
My son Mateo was in a Skip-a-thon at school and went right at it. He was so excited to tell me he skipped for 2hrs straight (flat footed jumping 2 feet off the ground) He is now jumping on his toes and all is good.
At the end of the summer, there is Late Summer (or Indian Summer). This season involves the Spleen and Stomach, the Earth Element. This is the perfect time to work on your immunity or any long standing asthma problems. At this time of the year, there are no acute symptoms to treat, therefore I can address the root causes of your imbalances. Are you someone who does not transition well between seasons? Do you catch colds often? The Earth Element plays an important roll in your immunity and is seen in the middle of the circle within the Five Element System. There are so many things to keep your mind and body in balance but if you are struggling to find the right balance for you, visit me in my clinic at Simple Remedies at our new location around the corner at 1111 Fort St. (free 2hr parking on Meares St.,above Cook)
Gigi Vincentine, Dr. TCM. Dip. My summer holidays will begin on July20th-July31st. I’ll be back in the clinic on August 3rd. Happy Summer!
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