As we hit peak mid Summer, what can we do to look after ourselves at this time of year?
In Chinese Medicine terms, this is time is the utmost yang of the year and associated with the element of Fire and its corresponding organs, the small intestine, heart/pericardium and ‘triple heater’
Summer gives us the power to fully celebrate life, and nature, in its maturity. We are open to social events more than ever, need to sleep less and feel the boundless energy of the sun feeding ourselves as well as our gardens.
We need to gently be aware that we don’t overindulge and ‘burn out’, though, and make sure we still make time and space to be quiet. As summer activities can sometimes get in the way of relaxation and meditative time, it’s important to find a balance between action and just being, between social events and time to be in your garden, and allowing the earth to nourish and recharge our battery pack. Perhaps try a yin or restorative yoga class in addition to more vigorous summer sporting activities?
It’s easy to eat more healthily in the summer. If we listen to our bodies, we will naturally steer towards more vegetable based foods, salads and plenty of healthy liquids, taking advantage of what is seasonal and at its peak nutritionally and in terms of taste. However, it’s also easy to over indulge in both alcohol and summer ‘treats’ when we are in peak socialising season. Marianne Andrews, our Nutritional Therapist, is offering a free 20 minute ‘Summer Shape Up’ chat, if you wanted to discuss in more detail about changes you could be making to your nutrition this summer.
The legendary Yellow Emperor, regarded as the founder of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has these instructive words about the season of summer in the ancient text, The Yellow Emperorʼs Classic of Internal Medicine:
“In the three months of summer there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge, there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result, plants mature and animals, flowers, and fruit appear abundantly.
One may retire somewhat later at this time of year, while still arising early. One should refrain from anger and stay physically active, to prevent the pores from closing and the chi from stagnating. One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than in other seasons. Emotionally it is important to be happy and easygoing and not hold on to grudges, so that the energy can flow freely”
These words were written about four thousand years ago, and are still as relevant today.