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Summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine

by Meghan Gibson, L.Ac.

It’s finally summer! Time for street fairs, farmers markets, outdoor concerts and hitting the beach. Summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the most yang time of the year. Corresponding to the fire element, a time for heat, we will find growth both in nature (gardens are sprouting!) and our own lives. The fire element is associated with the heart/ small intestine, the emotion of joy, the color red and bitter taste. Our heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout our body and in TCM it also houses our “shen” or spirit. When the fire element is balanced and in harmony, the heart is pumping strong and is healthy, the spirit is calm and sleep is sound. When the fire element is unbalanced or in disharmony, depression or insomnia may arise.

TCM based Nutrition categorizes food based on their energetic properties and temperature. Eating foods that are moistening and cool in nature will help to keep you hydrated.

Avoid dehydration by eating “cool” this summer with these tips!

  • Add cucumber or mint to your water
  • Eat more fruit and veggies, take advantage of farmers markets and eat what’s in season Examples: lettuce, watermelon, spinach, corn, broccoli, asparagus, watercress
  • Avoid hot, greasy or spicy food
  • Add more seafood and fish to your diet

Swimming, meditation and yoga can keep the spirit calm, maintain good sleep and help your personal growth this summer season. Now get out there and enjoy, after all, joy is the emotion of the season!