Essence & Qi Blog
Summer and Traditional Chinese Medicine
By: Andrew Pacholyk, L.Ac.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have a healing methodology called the 5 Phases (Elements). Summer is ruled by the Fire element and is expressed in nature as well as in the body. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus during this season. Summer-heat belongs to the element of fire and is predominant during the summer season.
Symptoms of summer heat are excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, and heart palpitations.
Strengthening the immune system should be a part of any seasonal ritual! Any tonic formula that strengthens the essence, nourishes the Qi and regulates the heart is appropriate.
Remember, the best form of medicine, is preventative. Learn how to heal with the seasons and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can bring your body back into balance!The Fire Element
The element, Fire is associated with the Summer season and with heat. The element is associated with the heart, pericardium, small intestines and related to the tongue.
Emotionally, this element is associated with the mind and it's stability. The heart is the "seat" of the mind and therefore, its highest expression is love. Enthusiasm, warmth in human relationships and conscious awareness.
The heart Chakra is in the center of the Chakra system and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.
When imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (maniac condition). Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest Yang; nature at its peak of growth, and the motion is upward. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn and insomnia are other indicators of imbalance in this area.
Physically, when the fire element is balanced, the heart properly governs and circulates the blood and insures proper assimilation of the beginning breakdown of food in the small intestines.
Emotionally, when the fire element is balanced, sensitivity and expression, true fulfillment and the equilibrium between heart and mind are our greatest rewards.Late Summer
Late Summer is considered the "dog day afternoons" when in late August and "Indian Summer" are hotter and damper days rich in humidity and a feeling of heaviness in the air. This often parallels the way our bodies feel during this period.
Dampness is associated with the element earth and is most active in late summer. Ailments of excessive dampness can be induced by sudden exposure to fog or mist, immersion in water or exposure to rain, and living in excessively damp locations or climates. The surface pores on the body are open. Because summer is humid, the pathogenic factors, which cause diseases in this season always mix with dampness. The symptoms include abdominal pains, vomiting, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, lethargy, aching joints, and heaviness in the chest - are characteristically heavy and sluggish in nature and tend to block the flow of energy throughout the body.
"Inner-dampness" is caused by excess cold consumption of liquor, tea, cold melons, and sweet, greasy foods. These impede spleen functions.
Consider a healthy, nutritional diet, getting good quality sleep and moderate exercise this can keep our physical form at it's best, always. Consider Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal medicine or homeopathic medicine.
Remedies for Heat Exhaustion
The summer heat can sneak up on you and not only zap your energy, while you are outdoors, but it can cause dehydration, sunburn and actual exhaustion! Children under four, people over 65, and those who are obese, already ill, or taking medications can especially be affected very easily. Prolonged exposure to heat and insufficient body fluid can result in heat exhaustion. Its symptoms can include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness headache and nausea or vomiting. Here are the best remedies for heat exhaustion:
For more information on Summer and Traditional Chinese Medicine, or on the author please visit www.Peacefulmind.com