In Classical Chinese Medicine, one can improve his/her health by living in harmony with the seasons. Summer is a time of warmth and growth on all levels of the body/mind/spirit. Just like the crops in the fields, people are also at their peak of activity- social gatherings abound! It is a time to start reaping the fruits of our labors. The ‘seeds’ we chose to cultivate in Winter, and then planted in Spring, are now maturing and reaching their highest peak.
Summer is related to the element of Fire and to the Heart and Small Intestine meridians. While the Heart is related to the physical heart, as well as, joy and communication, the Small Intestine is related to listening, mental clarity, and sorting what is nourishing from that which is not. Although not recognized in the predominant paradigm in Western medicine, the Heart Protector and Triple Heater Meridians are also connected with the Summer season. The Heart Protector is responsible for the circulation of blood and protects one on all levels of the body/mind/spirit. It is responsible for setting healthy boundaries and is thrown out of balance with any betrayals of trust (such as physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse). The Triple Heater is important in helping with the regulation of body temperature between the upper, middle, and lower portions of the torso. It also deals with relationships in society. A balanced Fire element allows for a healthy heart and circulatory system, emotional warmth and good communication.
Suggestions for having a meaningful and healthy summer
- Eat lots of fresh, sun-ripened produce from your garden or buy from the farmers at the farmers’ market to give them your support.
- Give gratitude for all that you have rather than focusing on what you need to have and do. Reflect on what makes you smile.
- Practice generosity during this time of abundance. Gifts do not require money. Heart- to – heart giving can involve making dinner for someone, creating a tape of your favorite songs, weeding a friend’s garden, or babysitting their children.
- Give yourself some solitude and free time to take a nap, read a good book, walk in the woods, listen to a favorite CD, or watch the flowers grow.
- Go out dancing!!! Or fishing!!!