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Chinese Medicine Tips on Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat
Vivian Takafuji

Acupuncture

Summer is the time of year that corresponds to the Fire element and when the seasonal energies are at their peak (the utmost “Yang”), according to Chinese medical theory. This is a time of joy as we are motivated to do more outdoor activities and have fun socializing together. The peak of the season brings about more activity and intensity.

The Fire element corresponds to the energy of the Heart and the Mind/Spirit; it is important to prioritize a calm and cool demeanor since emotions are easily inflamed during this time.

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Along with summer comes more heat, becoming “Summerheat” at the peak of the season when heat often mixes with “dampness” in the atmosphere (humidity).

This external warmth can be welcome if one is cold-natured, but can be uncomfortable if there is already internal heat and/or dampness in the diagnostic picture.

This could manifest as symptoms of fever, sweating, sinus congestion, headache, anxiety/mania, insomnia or elevated blood pressure as the heat attempts to exit the body.

Acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs can be helpful to correct any heat imbalance before it becomes too problematic.

A good rule of thumb is eat “cooler” foods during the summer, but try to do so in moderation. Introducing sudden or excessively cold food/drink can impair your digestion, especially if the function is already weakened.

Instead of reaching for the ice, consider fruits and vegetables that are cooler by nature and better nourish the “Yin” energy that is often depleted with summertime heat. Examples include melons, apples, pears, pineapples, cucumbers and mint. Chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, barley and green teas are also helpful to disperse heat and calm the Spirit during the hot months. Avoid hot and spicy foods as they can quickly provoke heat symptoms.

The Water element is the elemental balance to Fire. It makes sense that we naturally gravitate to the pool and the ocean when the heat outside reaches its maximum. Increase your water intake (room temperature to cool) or consider sipping on watermelon juice. My “go-to” is coconut water since it contains natural electrolytes to further prevent dehydration.

Limit your exposure to direct sunlight and monitor for signs of heat stroke and we can all stay cool in the summer!

Thriving Magazine September 2022 Issue 15

September Thriving Magazine • Issue 15

September is Self Care Awareness Month and our September issue of Thriving magazine is focused on just that… With an emphasis on setting yourself up for aging with vitality. The choices we make today will have a huge impact on our future selves, and we want to help you lead healthy, strong and energetic lives. Enjoy!

Articles are written by our experts in physical therapy, fitness training, chiropractic care. nutrition, massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and energy healing.