Optimize Your Health for SummerSummer is here. Now is the perfect time to look at how the season’s rhythm impacts our health and well-being.  Gardens flourishing, the warm temperatures being more frequent, and the sight of so many people enjoying the outdoors are excellent external reminders that each season has a certain rhythm.

Did you know that we, as human beings, have a seasonal rhythm too?

The great news is that Chinese medicine provides the perfect wisdom to use these rhythms to optimize your health in the summer.

According to the ancient wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine, each season links to a specific type of energy and organ system.

Staying in tune with the natural rhythms of life helps balance your body, mind, and spirit.  This article examines using simple wisdom from traditional Chinese medicine to optimize your health in the summer.

We will explore:

  1. What is the energy of summer, and why does it matter?
  2. What organ systems need the most support for optimal health in summer and why?
  3. Practical tips you can do at home to align with the season and optimize your health in summer.

What is the Energy of Summer and Why Does it Matter?

Energy of Spring
Traditional Chinese medicine considers summer a time of abundance and happiness. Just as we must tend to our gardens if our fruits and vegetables are to grow well, we must also give extra attention and care to the parts of ourselves most affected by the season.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the element of summer is fire.  When we think of fire, we think of heat, outgoingness, and expression. We should remember this when we think of how we care for ourselves this summer.

In my previous seasonal article, How to Optimize Your Health in the Spring, I mentioned that resting and replenishing your reserves is the focus.  So, while spring is a time of growth and renewal, the energy of summer represents a time of joy, playfulness, and activity.  Summer is a time of going out and having fun.

The summer also brings the heat. While this feels great after winter and a potentially cold spring, heat can be drying and bring out other irritations like rashes and mental agitation.

You can use the summer care tips in this article to align with the energy of abundance and happiness to optimize your health in summer.

What organ systems need the most support for optimal health in summer and why?

Nourish the Liver for Spring

Traditional Chinese Medicine associates summer with the heart and small intestine systems.  So, the heart must get all the resources it needs. The heart is so vital that Chinese medicine refers to it as the Emperor. The heart, when healthy, makes all of the decisions that are right for us. The brain stores our knowledge and experiences, but the heart makes sense of them.

Many things depend on your heart’s health, including blood pumping, regulation of the blood vessels, mental health, sweating, and speech. Thyroid health is also dependent on the health of the heart.

Signs of a compromised heart include depression, fatigue, agitation, insomnia, and restlessness.

Also, the heart/small intestine’s emotion is joy. The goal is to have joy in a balanced manner. You may ask: How can you have too much joy? Well, too much joy is what we know as mania, and too little joy is depression.

 

 

So, how do you nourish your heart for maximum summer health?

keep moving to nourish liver qi

Since the heart is all about abundance and happiness, the most important thing you can do for it during summer is RELAX and HAVE FUN.

The heart is the Emporer, so think of the qualities of an Emporer or CEO of a company. The Emperor/CEO is the person with the vision and the creativity to make all of the systems, departments, and resources act as one. Like any visionary, we want to try new things and look at life through a playful, almost child-like, lens. Try not to be set in your ways and be more open to discovery.

Go on adventures both physically and mentally. While on your daily walk (everyone does this after reading my spring article, right?wink), try a different route. You may be surprised at what you see or who you meet.  The key to good health in the summer is connection. We should be meeting with friends and family because that love connection nourishes our hearts.  Like the spring, this is an exciting time, and staying indoors will suffocate the heart and promote depression.

Check out all of the summer care tips below.  These tips will help you align with the rhythms of the season and optimize your health in summer.

4 Practical Tips You Can Do at Home to Align with Season and Optimize Your Health in Summer

Spring Care Tip #1: Relax and have fun.

Relax and Have Fun
  • Try not to be too serious. You worked hard during the spring, and now is the time to step back and enjoy the workings of everything you put in place.  
  • Have fun with friends.  We are social beings.  We need connection for our sanity.
  • Make and mend connections.  Meet some new people and, if at all possible, mend some broken relationships.

Spring Care Tip #2: Adventure.

Adventure and Creativity

Try new things to awaken the mind and give you a new perspective on what is going on in your life.  A new perspective can be life-changing if you are suffering from things like depression or anxiety-caused insomnia.

  • Try a new hobby or learn a new skill.
  • Take a different route to work or on your daily walk.
  • Think of creative ways to change up your routines.

Spring Care Tip #3: Hydrate.

Hydrate

The following will help regulate the effects of the summer heat on your body and mind:

 

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Take cool showers, and, if you are able, enjoy time in the ocean or a body of fresh water.
  • Eat cooling foods like watermelon, cucumber, corn, mint, dill, watercress, lemon, and green leafy vegetables.

Spring Care Tip #4: Eat mindfully.

Mindful Eating

The stagnant Qi caused by digestive issues can burden the heart and cause depression and insomnia.  Try these simple tips to help your digestive system:

 

  • Eat smaller meals.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Find joy in the summer food and fill your heart with gratitude for it.

In Summary

Our aim is always to help your body, mind, and spirit fall back into their natural rhythms. By following these four simple tips to optimize your health this summer, you’ll improve your level of happiness and increase your chances of staying healthy and well.

Of course, we’re always here to help when health concerns arise with 100% holistic care, no matter the issue. We’ve given over 18,000 treatments and counting, so we’ve seen pretty much every woman’s health and fertility issue, hormonal issue, or chronic illness out there.

We know how to awaken your body’s natural resources using a unique combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medications, targeted nutritional support, and mind-body medicine.

It’s easy to take the next step for in-depth support.  Click here to request your free initial consultation. You are welcome to speak to us to find out if our 100% holistic healthcare services are a good fit for you.

*This article was originally published in June of 2017 and updated for clarity in June of 2022.

About the Author - Michael Hurley, L.Ac.

Michael is the co-founder and acupuncturist at Cup of Life Healing Center located at 82 Washington Street Suite 2 in Keene, NH. (603) 352-3625. He specializes in Women's Health and Fertility. Michael holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM), one of the top-rated acupuncture schools in the country. He is nationally certified with the NCCAOM and licensed by the State of New Hampshire to perform acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Additionally, Michael is certified in 5-Element Functional Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine.