|Posted by Gwen Williams on July 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM|
As a practitioner of Chinese medicine, summer is fire and is about the heart, relationships, joy, laughter and heat. That could also translate to passion in intimate relationships and lots of socializing and partying in our wider scope of friendship. The heart helps us be our true self and works with our intuition. It is paired with the small intestine representing clarity, discernment and judgement which helps us see what is good for us and who is not.
The heart opens to the tongue, shows up in the complexion and is responsible for blood. It is also the house of the Shen (mind, emotions and thought). You see the Shen when you look into someone’s eyes. With good Shen the eyes are bright, clear and the person is present and appropriately engaged in your conversation. Excellent Shen shows up as a “sparkle in the eyes”. People with good Shen recover well from illness. With poor Shen people can’t “look you in the eye” or you get the feeling “nobody is home”. These folks may have experienced some emotional trauma and don’t heal as readily as others.
Summer is the height of yang (high energy and heat) while winter is yin and coldness. Now is the time when we have the most energy and we just want to go places meet people and have fun. The sound of summer is laughing and people who are predominantly a fire element may have a “laughing voice”, may laugh a lot during conversation and can be very charming. Now is the time to go out of your way to meet new people and talk to strangers. Go on adventures and see who comes into your life!
In the summer we love to have fires, roast “stuff” and have BBQs. The taste of the heart and summer is bitter and burnt. Foods good for you in the summer are colourful, vibrant, yin and cooling. Meals should be light, cooked quickly with steam or simmering, high heat and short cooking times. Include bitter greens such as dandelion, swiss chard, romaine or broccoli, vegetables and fruit such as cucumber, celery (also good for blood pressure), alfalfa, apples, watermelon and lemon. Hot spices are good in small amounts to induce sweat and cool the body. Drink teas such as mint or chamomile while avoiding ice drinks and cold foods (not good for digestion).
The most important thing in Chinese medicine is to be in synch with the seasons while staying balanced. So enjoy yourself. Be active, visit friends and family and laugh a lot. The water element controls fire, so to keep the fire in check, go to the beach and stay near the water. The fluids associated with the fire element, is sweat, so drink lots of fluids (you can add a bit of salt sugar and lemon to water for mineral replacement and taste) and don’t forget to rest. The peak time for heart is from 11am to 1pm so be active morning to midday, rest in the afternoon and be sure to be in bed by midnight.