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Summer Season in Chinese Medicine

By Kristina Hanson RAc.

Summer is the season of long days, abundant energy and lots of daylight. It is considered the ‘fire’ element and is the most active (yang) time of the year. It’s the best time for activity and movement. Your body has a higher metabolism in the summer, circulation is at its best and now is the time to get outside and move your muscles!

The heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. To live in accordance with the seasons, now is the time to reach outwards, spend time in nature, nourish your mind and move your body. In Chinese medicine the heart is associated with mental activity and a healthy heart improves memory, ability to learn and emotional well being.

When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is clear and joy comes easily.

When the fire element is unbalanced, there is apathy, anxiety, fuzzy thinking and restless sleep with vivid dreams.

In Chinese Medicine the best ways to nourish the body during summer months:

  • Wake earlier in the morning
  • Rest at midday when the sun is at its brightest
  • Don’t go to sleep with a full stomach
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat cooling foods (see below)
  • Spend more time outdoors and in nature

Cooling foods help the body cool down and adjust to high temperatures:

  • Watermelon
  • Apricot
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peach
  • Bamboo
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • White mushroom
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Seaweed
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Dill

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