"Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." - Van Morrison
Summer months bring sunshine, warmer temperatures, and abundant energy. It’s a season where the Yang is very active, and activity is in full bloom. In the Five Element theory in TCM, each of the elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) relates to a season. Summer is associated with the Fire element, and also the Heart organ system, which performs many energy functions that are vital to the health of your body, mind, and spirit.
However, when temperatures run too high, excess fire energy can cause what Chinese Medicine terms a “summer heat attack” or heat stroke. If you feel dizzy, flushed, stop sweating, or your pulse is racing, stop all activity, get out of the sun, and seek medical attention right away.
If you have symptoms like hot flashes, irritability, headaches, excess sweating, insomnia, and digestive issues, some TCM tips can help bring your body back in balance.
Eating or drinking something ice-cold dampens your digestive system and over-cools your stomach, so your body needs to expend a lot more energy to heat up and digest your food. This can cause feelings of sluggishness, slower digestion, bloating, and a general heaviness - which is probably how you already feel in extreme heat.
Instead - drink watermelon juice, make chrysanthemum tea, or put cucumber and/or mint in room temperature water. These wonderful summer remedies are known to actually cool your body down, hydrate and put out excess fire in the body.
Add some cooling foods to your plate, like watermelon, apricot, cantaloupe, lemon, peach, orange, asparagus, sprouts, bamboo, bok choy, broccoli, chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, cilantro, mint, dill, green tea, tofu, and seaweed. Watermelon is such a winner at reducing heat, the white rind can actually be used to reduce fevers. Blend up the red and white parts together to make a smoothie!
Drink enough water by carrying a water bottle around with you and sip it throughout the day to ensure you’re hydrated. Swim in a nearby body of water, or take a cool shower or bath at home. Keep a mister with cold water in it to use as a body spray, add a little lavender or sandalwood essential oil to make it even more chill.
If you are out in the sun, cover your head and neck to prevent too much heat entering your system from the acupressure point DU14.