Summer has finally arrived! It seems like it’s been the longest and wettest Winter in years this year, partly because of the on-again-off-again lockdown scenarios that have been going on for the last couple of years. But even with vaccination freedom, civil unrest from protesting, life waking up and everyone going out, we are able to start thinking about the holiday period in a different way. Here’s 5 tips for the holidays, to help us stay healthy and protect ourselves during celebration time.
It’s definitely salad season, and now it’s finally OK to eat cooling foods. To help your metabolism process quickly but still get the fibre, eat salad with something warm. TCM says that cold foods can slow down the Spleen Qi and stop it from processing too quickly, which interferes with fluid metabolism and makes you gain weight. Try adding some warmed protein (tofu/tempeh if you are veggo or vegan), seafood, meat, or just some roast eggplant, pumpkin or sweet potato to your salad to warm up the temperature and stop it from chilling your belly too much.
Watermelon is a seasonal fruit with amazing healing properties using the various parts of the plant. There is even a Chinese patent medicine called Sanjin Watermelon Frost which uses the powdery coating on the outside of the watermelon as a soothing topical application medicinal for cold sores and burns. Its cooling properties also extend to the pink fleshy part which is not only unbelievably thirst quenching and delicious on a hot day, but also contains a number of beneficial fruit acids, whicle not tasting particularly acidic. One of those acids is malic acid, the very same ingredient that is in apple cider vinegar, that neutralises gut pH and triggers your body into a bacterial cleanse, for *before* the prebiotic or probiotic stage. If you’re planning to do a gut detox over Summer, watermelon is your friend. And so is your chinese medicine practitioner. It’s advisable to do any cleansing protocol with the assistance of a qualified and experienced professional.
It stands to reason that we all need to drink more water in Summer, but sometimes, when you’re working indoors, or you get absorbed in what you’re doing, it can be easy to forget. Follow this link for info about how much water to drink to stay healthy and hydrated. People really underestimate the types of illnesses that can happen if you don’t drink enough water. They range from gout to kidney stones to sinus problems. In Chinese medicine we call them Heat related disease with either excess or deficiency as their underlying cause. So drink up, dreamers. Summer loves water.
Summer is the season of Fire and Heart consciousness. So what better way to access our Heart Shen but to meditate. Meditation has been practiced since the 4th-6th century BCE, so basically, since the dawn of time. Meditation is a gentle, passive activity that preserves Yin in the Yang time of the year. So to bring some Yin into your Yang, sit still for a bit and soak up the Summer vibes. Meditation helps to ground us and bring us into ourselves, provides some emotional and mental clarity and may help to improve productivity. It’s also helpful against many health issues that we see in the clinic most often in Summer. So don’t just run amok these holidays, sit yourself down, put on some soothing music and tune out. It doesn’t have to be for long, 10 minutes a day is enough. Try it and see the difference!
Summer is Fire season according to the 5 elements. But the *next* season is Earth. Fire is created and fed by Wood, but burns the wood to create ash, which composts and becomes Earth, in a process known in Chinese medicine and alchemical transformation as the Mother/Child sequence. In ancient times, the Daoists and longevity physicians taught the principles of Yang Sheng – nourishing life. Part of this philosophy is to look forward to the next season in the process, strengthen yourself and prepare for what you know is coming, so as to be ready for it. This is seen as creating a strong pathway for it to flourish, or “engendering” Earth.
If you would like to discuss further tips for your specific constitution and recieve an acupuncture treatment from an expert in the field, book an appointment online or contact the clinic on 0422 353 446