Today we celebrate the longest day of the year, the most yang in nature, Summer Solstice. At 6:07am Eastern Time on June 21, the sun will be directly above the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° north latitude), and will yield shorter days to come until we return to Winter Solstice. The sun has climbed to its highest point for all of us that live north of the equator and will cast its rays most broadly. According to Chinese Medicine, heavenly energy will descend and earthly energy will arise, creating abundance in all forms of life. In order for us to harmonize with the Summer, we must alter our lifestyle, which includes but is not limited to, diet, activity, relationship with the environment, and engaging our senses.
The Summer season is associated with the Fire element, which corresponds to the Heart. The Heart houses our Shen, which can translated as spirit or mind. Therefore, Summer is a time to take part in playful exercise (swim!), interact with others, and enwrap ourselves in any activity that elicits joy and excitement and manifests itself in laughter. Holding grudges and being angry should be avoided and
easygoingness should be adopted. The Heart is also very vulnerable in the Summer, so while exercise to release toxins should be incorporated into our daily routines, we should be very careful not to overexert ourselves in the process.
We must also seek hydrating, yin nourishing foods such as these below to balance the heat and smooth blood and qi circulation:
Vegetable: Seaweed, celery, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, summer squash, spinach, eggplant, watercress, cauliflower, olives, radish, cilantro, cabbage, sprouts
Fruit: Coconut, lemon, strawberries, melon (of course, watermelon!), apricot, peach, orange
Protein: Fish, lamb, duck
Avoid: Overly spicy, hot or greasy food, alcohol, coffee, fruit and salads in excess. Iced drinks and ice cream cause digestion to slow, so should be avoided
Drink plenty of fresh water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Of course, acupuncture serves as a superior method to harmonize us with the Summer. Incorporating regular acupuncture treatments into our health regimen will accelerate this attunement by addressing any underlying issues which need attention. Optimal well-being is predicated on harmonizing with the seasons and the above is only a partial inventory of methods to achieve wellness.
To discuss a customized acupuncture and seasonal dietary treatment plan, please call the office at (908) 379-8600 or make an appointment here: https://www.tlcacupuncture.com.
Looking forward to helping you achieve harmony. Happy Solstice!
L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)