As we move from springtime to the summer, the energy starts to shift once again. Staying healthy with the seasons is imperative for optimal health; our bodies are meant to flow with the seasonal changes and when we resist, illness can appear.
Sometimes, as humans, we want to keep the same flow every day, year-round, no matter the weather or the circumstances. We truly are not built to do that! We are meant to be sensitive and in tune with our surroundings. It is so important to get back to these basics for optimal health.
The energy goes from the outward motion that it has in springtime to an upward motion for the summer. This is a very expansive, connected season. It is also a time for play! The element is fire and the sound of the fire element is laughter. This is a season to not take yourself so seriously and to thoroughly enjoy yourself.
The organs of the season are the heart and small intestine. When in balance, you will have smooth digestion, lots of laughter and a feeling of lightness. When out of balance, you may experience additional anxieties, upset digestion, a feeling of being overheated, heart palpitations and a skin rash on your scapulae where your small intestine meridian runs.
Remember to take some time to cool down physically, with a dip in the water and emotionally, with breathwork meditations in the shade. The summer heat will come creeping in and remind us that this is a time to sweat, cleanse, exercise and feel our hearts beating in our chests.
Another great way to stay in tune with this season is to eat smaller, lighter meals full of cooling seasonal foods. This is extremely important for healthy summer digestion. These foods include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables like oranges, papaya, guava, kale, spinach and, of course, herbal teas. A few incredible cooling, herbal tea options include hibiscus, peppermint, lemongrass, chamomile, and an orange or lemon peel.
You may notice that large, greasy, heavy meals make you feel especially heavy in the summertime. That is because it is already hot and heavy externally, and your body does not need more hot and damp substances internally. Think of it this way — if you want a pot to stop boiling, you add cold water, not more hot water.
The same concept goes for you. If you are already experiencing too much heat, do not add more either internally or externally! The more cooling activities you can do this season, the better! You can even wear cooling clothing that is breathable and incorporates lots of greens and blues, which are, energetically, cooling colors.
Remember to deeply connect with this seasonal change. Get outside and let your body adjust to the heat, enjoy the summer mornings and evenings, and find some water to get in! Fire season is the opposite of water season, or winter, which makes being in the water an incredible way to balance the energy. Happy summer!
About the Author
Dr. Isabel Meijering is an acupuncturist in Austin and is the owner of Admiring You Wellness. She has her doctorate in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and specializes in cupping therapy, pain management, psycho-emotional support, menstruation support and allergies. She also has a B.S. in biomedical sciences with a minor in psychology and has a deep love for both eastern and western medicine.