In Traditional Chinese Medicine Summer is ruled by the Fire element, we can see this in nature but also in the the body. The focus in this season is growth and joy as well as spiritual awareness between the heart and mind.
It is easy to see the fire element in Nature, especially lately since we have been in the high 90's during the day! What sometimes need further explanation is how this shows in the body, which is what this emails focus is on!
What are the common physical symptoms of Summer? Summer-heat is the Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnosis associated with the symptoms of summer. These symptoms manifest as excess body heat, profuses sweating, parched mouth and throat, comstipation, and heart palpitations. More symptoms related to a Fire element imbalanced will be discussed below!
So how do we beat the heat? The best thing to do is strengthen the immune system, which is somthing that should be part of your healing rituals with any seasonal change! With Acupuncture we focus on strengthening the essence and nourishing Qi, and then regulate the heat.
The Fire Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine.The organs that are associated with the Fire element are the Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine, and San Jiao. These are not the physical elements in the way we talk about them in Western Medicine, but are rather the elements of the meridians, many of which still have similar functions to their Western organs.
Emotionally this element is associated with the mind. The mind in TCM resides in the Heart and therefor when summer heat affects the Heat the mind can be affected. This can lead to over thinking or anxiety. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn, and insomnia are other common issues that come with an imbalanced Fire element.
These symptons can all be treated with the use of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Once there is a balance, the equilibrium between the heart and mind can provide some of our greatest rewards!
How to beat the heat!
Rising early- this allows us to benefit from the sun and its nourishing rays, this energy is the most bountiful at this time of the year.
Fill your work, play, and relationships with joy- this is the emotion for the season, and it is even more important to go about our daily activities with joy, passion, and laughter.
Find your life's potential- summer is the time for expansion, energy, movement, and activity, so let the season help you cultivate your desires, this is the season to start new and cultivate what you built throuhout the Spring.
Heal emotional wounds-in TCM the heart is connected to our spirits so summer is the best time to heal wounds we have carried from our pasts. This healing can free up space that we can fill with love, joy, and happiness of the Fire element.
Drink plenty of water- to protect yourself from heat exhaustion, this season is maximum Yang, so it is even more important to stay cool and hydrated.
Eat cool Yin foods- this includes raw foods such as salads and veggies. Many sea foods are also cooling in nature.
Below is a list of other foods for summer:
Apricot, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Strawberries,Tomatoes, Lemon, Peach, Cucumber, Orange, Asparagus, Sprouts, Bon choy, Chinese Cabbage, Corn, White mushroom, Snow peas, Spinach, Summer squash, Watercress, Seaweed, Cilantro, Mint, Dill, Jobe's tears, Bean Sprouts, Duck, Fish.
Recently I have had the opportunity to work on one of my husband's friends the day after finishing his second Iron Man. Mark is one of those people you look at and just know that they are an athlete, and completing one Iron Man would have proved that, completing two… now that’s just showing off!
But this post isn’t about how jealous I am of Mark, especially since I am tired after a one mile run, this is about what happens to your body after a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22 mile run, and how acupuncture can help. While most of us won’t complete and Iron Man in our life time, many of us run marathons or push our bodies to extremes, even though it is all in the name of fitness it can take a toll on our bodies.
After a triathlon such as the Iron Man the body needs recovery, the muscles and ligaments are severely traumatized, and are filled with swelling and inflammation. Inflammation and swelling are a normal response to trauma, and it isn’t always a bad thing, after all inflammation is what protects our bodies, but after a race this the inflammation and swelling makes it harder for the body to start its recovery process.
This is where acupuncture comes in! On it’s own this fluid build up takes about 3 days to move into the blood stream where it can then be excreted out of the body. This means that after a race slight weight gain and increase urination is very common for the days following. With all that being said it is important for the acupuncture treatments or other body work following a race to be gentle. The focus of the treatment should be on increasing blood flow and helping to decrease any muscle spasms.
Acupuncture immediately after a race as Mark did it, helps to decrease the healing period and reduce the swelling and inflammation quicker. In the weeks following, the treatments can start to change from the gentle restorative type into correcting any mechanical issues that can come with putting that much stress and strain on the muscles and ligaments of the body.
For more information on what Acupuncture can do for your bodies specific needs please feel free to contact me at DenverMindBodyEssence@gmail.com!