Summer is finally upon us! As we rejoice that the season of sun is here, for most of us it is also one of the busiest times as one year comes to an end with another looming on the horizon. Today I am going to share some Chinese medicine wisdom on what the season of summer represents and how we can best take care of ourselves during these months.
In Chinese medicine, summer is seen as the most Yang time of the year. Yang energy is bright, warm, expansive, light, creative, active and full of abundance. As this is reflected in nature, it also reflects what is happening inside our bodies. Summer is a time of growth!
During the winter months we withdraw, hibernate and cultivate our energy, in spring we slowly begin to emerge and summer is the time to fully enjoy life to our greatest potential and reap what we have been energetically manifesting throughout the year.
In Chinese medicine, each season has an associated organ, for summer this is the Heart. Energetically the Heart is seen as the emperor of the organs and represents consciousness of our beings; it is responsible for intelligence, wisdom and spiritual transformation. The Heart houses our spirit.
A guiding principal in Chinese medicine is that by living and harmonising yourself with the seasons, you are able to cultivate your health and prevent disease. Therefore summer is the perfect time to give your Heart some extra attention and love. To live in harmony with the summer time, we rise early to drink in the morning sun for nourishment, just as the flowers do. The sun is Yang in nature (the moon is Yin) and safe sun exposure helps to build up the Yang energy in our bodies.
Some powerful ways to help strengthen and support the Heart during this time is to drink lots of fresh water, eat cooling foods, trust your intuition, engage your senses (go smell some flowers!), and be active. When the Heart is in balance, the mind is calm, we sleep deeply and wake feeling rested. Signs the Heart may be imbalanced can be a lack of joy, depression, anxiety, an excess of joy (mania), nervousness, insomnia, heartburn, poor memory and palpitations.
Summer is the time we can completely indulge in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and enjoy creating beautiful meals. Some foods to enjoy during summer include; apples, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, limes, salads, sprouts, cucumber, mint and chamomile tea. Eating less and lightly on hot days is a natural healthy practice.
During these next few weeks over Christmas and the New Year, our social calendars can fill up so quickly you all of the sudden may be wandering where you have time left to actually enjoy the holidays. A vital part of looking after the Heart is knowing how to protect it, where you need boundaries and that its is okay to say no. Summer time is a natural time of activity and abundance but not for depleting yourself with no adequate rest.
It has been a big year for a lot of us, so make sure to allow time for you to process the year that has been, relish in your deserved holidays so you can ease into the new year refreshed and renewed.
Regular Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments are a fantastic way to support and strengthen the body and especially the Heart during the summer months. Your practitioner can guide you through lifestyle and dietary choices to best suit your health and wellbeing and thrive this summer!
Lauren Curtain is a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner, with a strong passion for all things Chinese Medicine, fertility and women’s health. She has been with Angea for over 2 years now, and her treatment style is known for patient empowerment and education. She creates a warm, loving and judgement free environment, and also provides realistic guidance both in diet and lifestyle. Her treatment techniques include a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, Tui Na (Chinese Remedial Massage) and other TCM principles. Contact us on 9510 3700 to book an appointment.