Nourish Life in Summer TCM Way

summer health

Nourishing life is the most important part of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). We are talking about essentially following nature and going along with the seasons. Summer sun is hot, the rain is plentiful, Heaven and Earth are integrating generating tremendous amount of energy. Everything in the universe is growing, blooming and fruit forming, a new world in front of you all the time every day! The idea of nourishing life in summer is using and maintaining our yang energy.
Key Points of Nourishing Life in Summer:
Getting up earlier to cultivate our upward, outlooking, cheerful emotions. Summer is fire, and it corresponds to the heart. In TCM, heart is mind. Just like the flowers that need to be blooming, we should engage in more outdoor activities and reduce anger and resentment. If we are lazy, unmotivated, and irritated, we are not in the mood for summer.
Replenishing our body with water is essential, while we enjoy activities in nature, excessive summer heat makes us sweat a lot. Salted water may be necessary while working and exercising in the sun.
Avoiding the hot sun and use protection, when arranging labor or physical exercises. A short nap is ideal after lunch, one to avoid the heat and the other to recover from fatigue.
Protecting our yang energy when we enjoy modern technology. Do not set air-conditioning too low and do not expose to coldness too much at night while sleeping.
Eating a lot of fresh veggies and fruits is the key to good summer health as the season also corresponds to our small intestine, all about taking in good nutrition. Abundant sweet produces are in the market. We need to purposely supplement with some pungent, spicy bitter seasonings.
Never cook a summer meal without some ginger, scallion, and garlic.
While it is good to have some cold raw food in summer, a large amount of cold drink and food at once will certainly injure our digestive system causing stomach and intestinal issues. The outside is certainly hotter, but the inside temperature never changes. Our digestion is usually weaker in the summer. The diet should be light and easy, lower in greasy heavy animal foods. At this time foods are prone to spoilage and sudden gastric-intestinal symptom often occur. Therefore, pay attention to food hygiene.
Watermelon and mung bean soup are my favorite for quenching summer heat and thirst.
“Winter disease and summer treatment”, A TCM Strategy.
For some chronic diseases that are severe in winter, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, poor circulation, cardiovascular conditions, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and arthralgia syndrome, it is the best time to have some treatment in this season to prevent the reoccurrence of these conditions in winter.
Have a wonderful summer! Do not forget your monthly acupuncture.
(Wei Yuan)