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  • Writer's pictureAku Energija

TCM Cooling Tips for Summer

Living in harmony with the seasons is at the core of Traditional Chinese wisdom. This ancient discipline examines the effects emotions and foods have on the different systems of our body. It provides guidelines about which systems of the body are most significant in each season and the steps needed to support the appropriate system and create harmony within. When we live in a way that goes along with nature and our environment, we cultivate our health and longevity. [Read more: The origin of TCM and Chinese wisdom - I Ching/ Yi Jing (the book of change)]

The Dominating System of Summer- Heart

Summer represents the outward expression of energy, excitement, movement, and expansiveness. The active/Yang energy is the strongest in the year.

The system that corresponds with summer is the Heart. In Chinese medicine, the Heart’s physical function is to control blood circulation and the blood vessels, however, the Heart is also believed to control consciousness, sleep, and memory and provide a haven for the spirit, or the shen.

People with healthy Hearts are joyful and motivated without being overwhelmed by stress or difficulty in daily life. The Heart in the hierarchy of the systems is considered the Emperor. Since the Heart’s Fire energy (Yang) is so purely active, it must stay in a stable, calming and comforting “Palace” (Yin). If the Heart Yin in deficiency, shen escapes from it’s stable base in the Heart and flush to the head, where thoughts rush around uncontrolled. Over time, this causes worry, insomnia, irregular heartbeat or wild dreams. [Read more: Yin Yang philosophy and mental health]

Healthy Tips for the summer

It is a tricky balance. We want the Heart to express the active power but not letting it to burn out our calming energy. Here are a few tips:

1. Cooling our body naturally:

Get a shady spot to keep cool. Dress ventilating and drying fibers like linen. Drink these in room temperature for internal coolness: coconut water, green tea, chamomile tea, chrysanthemum tea (but only in moderate amounts. If you start feeling bloated in the abdomen or softer in stool then you know that it is too much). [Read more: Foundation of TCM dietary and herbology (1/4)- Four natures]

2. Wake up early, Take a midday nap, Go to bed late:

Because summer is the season of expansion and vitality, you will benefit from going to bed a little later and waking earlier, taking full advantage of the sun's nourishment. Be sure to take a break in the summer. A midday nap will help you to avoid the strongest heat of the day while getting an energy recharge. [Read more: Circadian Rhythms and the Chinese Medicine Body Clock (1/2)]

3. Maintain good discipline and daily routine:

Summer associates with holiday that kids no longer need to get up on time and adults can just lay on the beach all day. It is fine if you only do so one day or two. But from a healthy prospective, our body needs regular energy supply and stable biological clock. Chinese medicine advocates three cooked meals a day based on cooked grains, cooked vegetables and small amounts of meat and spices for enjoyment for most people. [Read more: When you eat is just as important as what you eat]

4. Clever use of watermelon:

Watermelon is a Chinese herbal remedy for summer heat. Besides from eating the red juicy part, you can also make use of the skin. Rub the watermelon skin on yours to give the cooling and moisturizing effect. You can also cut off the white part of the watermelon skin and cook with a large pot of water for extra cooling effect in your drinking water without worrying about the extra sugar in the juice. [Read more: Chinese Medicine Dietetics For Acne]

5. Stay hydrated, but skip the ice and ice-cream:

Avoid eating really cold food and drinks, even on a super hot day. When you think about it, it only cools you down for a moment. However on the inside, cold is constricting the flow of Qi adding to pain in the body. Especially avoid if you suffer from muscular pain, stomach pains or menstrual pains. Iced drinks and a lot of cold, uncooked food can actually be harmful to your digestive system. Iced and frozen drinks can send a cold shock to your stomach, thereby harming it's functioning in the long run. Drinking liquids warm or at room temperature is ideal. [Read more: Cook your food - digestive system explained in Traditional Chinese medicine] [Preberi več: How much water should I drink? Understanding Water energy with TCM]

6. Avoid strong temperature difference with an A/C:

Summer is supposed to be hot. The heat will help your body to open up and expel toxins. We need this process so try not to disturb this natural rhythm of the body. If you do need A/C like in an office, try to maintain a temperature around 25-27 degrees and stay away from direct blowing of cold wind.

I hope you find these tips helpful and I wish you an abundant and joyous summer. Contact us for an appointment if you're due for a summer balancing treatment.

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