Though technically it isn’t summer until the summer solstice on June 21st, we can feel the shift in the weather with the longer days and the warmer weather. The summer has begun. This season represents abundant energy, expansion, growth, activity, and creativity.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is ruled by the fire element, the color is red, the emotion is joy, the organs most active are the heart and small intestine, pericardium and triple warmer. It is the most yang(active) of the seasons; life and energies are at their peak.
In TCM mental activity is associated with the heart and therefore our memory, thought processes, emotional wellbeing, and consciousness are also attributed to the heart and fire element. When the fire element is in balance, the mind is calm and sleep is sound, the heart is strong and healthy. When the fire element is unbalanced, either lack of joy (depression) or excess joy (mania) can occur.
Symptoms of imbalance include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus of this season.
Tips for summer health:
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids
- Wake up earlier in the morning, go to bed later in the evening, if possible, rest at midday.
- Stay cool and hydrated
- Eat lighter and cooling foods such as salads and fruits
- Add pungent flavors to the diet
- Keep calm and even-tempered (anger exacerbates heat)