The vibrance of the Summer Solstice is here, and I am delighted to share with you insights into how to stay cool, while tapping in to the season’s gift of Fire to live a life of radiant wellness.
Fire is associated with the Heart. Read on for wonderful ways to assess and boost Cardiovascular health, as well as nurture the heart on the emotional and spirit level.
A healthy heart allows us to give and receive love, and understanding how to live in harmony with this season can bring tremendous value to us and our loved ones.
In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is the organ of Fire energy, associated with Summer. This is a time when energy flourishes, heat abounds, and days are the longest of the year – a time for growth and adventure!
While for some this means fun in the sun, for others it can be a trying time of intense emotions, inflammation in the body, and burnout. The key is to find harmony and balance, avoiding extremes while reaping the benefits of the abundant energies of this season.
According to the ancient Chinese Medical text, Nei Jing,
Summer is called the season of flourishing as all the living things in the world are prosperous and beautiful. One should sleep when night comes and get up early in the morning. One should not detest the sunshine or get angry often, so as to correspond to the property of summer energy of “growth” that promotes the growing of the flowers and fruits. One should sweat to let off the Yang energy to avoid the heat being stagnated. If these principles are violated, one’s heart will be hurt, as heart associates with fire and fire is vigorous in summer.
With Chinese medicine, treatment is aimed at balancing inner Fire by either cooling excess heat to reduce inflammation or by promoting circulation to enhance cardiac function.
Using acupuncture, customized herbal formulas, and dietary and lifestyle modifications, you can experience immediate relief from acute symptoms, address underlying imbalances, and direct the body’s resources to ensure the most fruitful expression of heart in all aspects of mind and body.
Acupuncture for Heart Health
This is the season of Fire, which corresponds with the Heart organ in Chinese medicine. Because it is such a powerful element, it is very important to keep the
body’s natural Fire energy in balance.
When Fire is in excess, inflammatory conditions can occur in our bodies:
– painful inflammation of joints, skin or bowels – chronic infections – burning urination or diarrhea – dryness in the lungs, constipation – anxiety and sleep disturbance
Deficient inner Fire can contribute to “cold” problems:
– cold/tingling extremities – impaired circulation – menstrual problems – digestive dysfunction – diarrhea
The Heart is also associated with our ability to give and receive love – when in balance, we naturally live with a sense of trust and openness, and know when it is appropriate to temporarily close to protect ourselves.
When the emotional or spiritual Heart is out of balance, we may become too needy of others, or too lavish toward them….or the opposite, we may recoil and become too protective for fear of getting hurt.
Summer brings the opportunity to indulge in the abundant harvest of the many fruits and vegetables that line the farmer’s market and grocery store aisles. Take advantage! Full of vitamins and minerals, summer produce is just what our bodies crave nutritionally.
Fill your shopping basket with cooling foods such as melons and cucumbers to regulate body temperature naturally – and AVOID drinking iced drinks….the colder the drink the harder the digestive system has to work to heat it up once its inside our bellies, which actually creates MORE HEAT in the body!
Naturally cooling, cucumbers deliver a good dose of Vitamins A,C, and K, minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus, and health- benefiting polyphenols called lignans, which, according to recent research, contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A summer staple! Naturally refreshing and thirst quenching, watermelon is
drenched in nutrients such as Vitamins A, B6 and C, various antioxidants and amino acids. Most importantly, watermelon contains high levels of the carotenoid lycopene, a phytonutrient that is essential for cardiovascular health.
One of the oldest known medicinal plants, Hawthorne has been used to treat and prevent heart disease for centuries. The berries can regulate blood pressure, reduce anxiety and improve digestion! They are also full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Another great summer treat that helps balance blood pressure, promotes good sleep, provides hefty doses of Vitamin C, beta carotene and potassium! Great to help reduce inflammation, tart cherries are known to reduce uric acid levels in the body!
Although harvested in the fall, oatmeal is a major player in the heart healthy diet. Unique compounds such as beta-glucan and avenanthramides found in oatmeal help reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream and greatly contribute to cardiovascular health. Also full of vitamins and minerals, oats help to stabilize blood sugar and enhance immunity, among many other health benefits.