It’s the most wonderful time of the year – with sunshine, beaches and splashing for all. The summer is ruled by the fire element, and give us our yearly peak in our body’s qi and vitality, but cooling foods and adjusted schedules keep our energies from overflowing. A major reason to keep our energies high without meeting our threshold are the benefits we receive. These benefits can include increased mental acuity (memory, thought processes, emotional well-being), increased oxygenation of the blood and increased digestion capabilities (less digestive issues). Summertime energies also open doors to healing emotion wounds of the past year, and preparing our mind, body and spiritual reserves for the coming colder seasons. Some tips to make the most of your summer balance include
- Drinking plenty of water, as always
- Waking up earlier in the morning to enjoy more of the sun’s benefits in your day
- Going to bed later in the evening to continue bodily functions during waking hours
- Taking a rest at midday to allow your body to support you through the afternoon hours
- Adding pungent flavors to your diet
- Refraining from dwelling on negative emotions and experiences and keeping calm, as to support the emotional well-being you are working towards. Anger exacerbates heat, which we are trying to eradicate from the body in the summer. Harboring negative emotions or experiences can also lower our bodies’ defenses to disease and other health complications for months to come.
In the summer we try to eat cooling foods that reduce heat in the body as well as dampness in the body created by humidity and rainy conditions. Foods that are good for summertime meals and snacks include:
- Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, and tomatoes
- Citruses: lemon and orange
- Vegetables: cucumber, asparagus, sprouts, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, corn, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, watercress, and bok choy
- Herbs: cilantro, dill, and mint
- Meats: duck and fish.
It is important to remember that food is our first defense against any threat to our body and can work wonders for our body when used properly. Food can help build defenses, cleanse toxins and release excess in the body. Stay happy and healthy with a balanced diet and system. But most importantly, enjoy your summer!
If you are interested in acupuncture treatments for digestion or more information, feel free to contact me.