Whether you are aware or not, each season according to Chinese medicine can have a deep influence upon our health and overall well-being. The summer season is filled with abundance of energy, long days and lots of sunshine. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is associated with the fire element. The fire element governs or rules the heart and small intestine. Summer is about growth, activity and creativity. It rules thought processes and emotions. It is the time to move outward into nature and in our lives.
According to TCM, speaking in anatomical terms, the heart, mind and spirit are ruled by the fire element. So, we need to focus on these in order to stay healthy in the summertime.
When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound.
Signs and symptoms of imbalance of the fire element or heart and small intestine meridian may be as follows.
Physical: Neck pain, anemia, digestive troubles, frozen shoulder, poor circulation, varicose veins, painful joints to name a few.
Emotional: Insomnia (disturbed sleep), anxiety, excessive dreaming, critical approach to people and life, sadness, poor self-esteem to name a few.
The hearts main function is to pump oxygen rich blood to the body. Over activation of the sympathetic nervous system is common with patients who have heart problems.
Acupuncture can improve your health with regards to the heart imbalance by dramatically reducing the activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the heart beat and blood pressure.
Helpful hints for the Summer Season: Awaken earlier in the morning go to bed slightly later in the evening. Drink plenty of fluids. Add pungent flavors to your food. Remain calm, refrain from anger. Summer time can also produce indigestion. Therefore, stay away from greasy foods and eat "lighter" than usual. Introduce cooling foods to the diet. Try to reduce sugars and toxins.
Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Orange, Bok Choy, Cilantro, Mint, Summer Squash, Cucumber, Lemon, Broccoli, Apricots just to name a few.
Do not over consume even with cooling foods as this can lead to indigestion.
Try water with slices of lemon and cucumber to sip throughout the day.
Specific acupuncture points for summer, as well as your own specific points based on your diagnosis can and have been proven to help with emotional and physical balance, health and well-being. Acupuncture, medical Qi Gong and mindfulness are a wonderful combination to use for a safe and holistic/integrated approach to health.
Feel free to contact Greenapple Sports and Wellness and Dr. Greenapple for any questions about acupuncture, Medical Qi Gong and Mindfulness. Look for upcoming classes and sessions including the above listed approaches. Have a safe, healthy and productive summer.