by Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. and Salvador Cefalu, M.S., L.Ac.
Each season is inherently associated with an element that grows stronger during its season. One of the most important ways to maintain your health throughout the year is to understand the various associations and learn how to balance these energies from season to season.
The Fire energy grows strong as we transition into Summer.
Fire is associated with creativity, inspiration, connection, and gives us the ability to be present in our lives. When out of balance, Fire energy leads to inflammation, fatigue, burnout and aging (learn more here).
These 6 tips will help you stay cool and balanced throughout the season:
1) Stay hydrated: a good general tip is to drink 1/2 of your weight in ounces of water, i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 75 ounces of water per day.
2) Eat cooling foods such as celery, watermelon and cucumbers and cooling teas such as peppermint, chamomile, lemon verbena, and green tea that are especially therapeutic on days when the weather is warmer.
3) Avoid eating too much fruit. Summer fruits are hydrating and make wonderful Summer treats. Just be sure to eat them - like anything - in moderation. Too much sweet fruit can create dampness and lead to more heat and inflammation in the body. Dampness and phlegm negatively impacts the digestive system and leads to fatigue and weight gain. Keep a healthy balance of cooked and raw foods in your diet and stay lighter with your meals in the warmer months.
4) Exercise early in the day: Do high activity exercise first thing in the morning when the weather is cooler. You can do more gentle exercises in the evening. Cooling practices such as Qi Gong and Yin Yoga are excellent ways to calm the mind and counter the heat of the season.
5) Spend more time outdoors, but don't forget your internal cultivation. Mangano Calcite, our Summer balancing stone (see below), can provide support.
6) Play more: have fun, open your Heart, and allow the playful energy of this warm season to weave through all aspects of your life!
Summer Balancing Stone: Mangano Calcite
In general, calcites provide a fast acting cooling effect on the body, so they can be used for acute cases of excessive heat, or Fire.
Mangano Calcite calms a nervous heart and temperamental mind.
This stone clears heat that can cause agitation and high blood pressure, allowing for greater clarity and focus.
The pink color of Mangano Calcite comes from the mineral manganese which influences balanced function in the brain and the entire nervous system, especially in regards to inducing a relaxation effect on the motor nerves that control muscle function.
Signs for using a manganese stone such as Mangano Calcite include an acute period of impatience, anger, quarrel, anxiety, heart palpitations and general nervousness.
Mangano Calcite is an important stone to strengthen Heart Qi and move Heart Blood to treat cardiac insufficiency and shortness of breath.
Among the calcites, Mangano Calcite is the most appropriate for intentional work. It can be taped in the depression under the ball of the foot at Kidney 1 or at the tailbone to ground your energy during Qi Gong practice.
Even when used topically on acupuncture points or simply held in the hand or on the center of the chest, the vibration of Mangano Calcite is quite potent to quickly induce relaxation and calmness in the body and mind.
You can experiment with the power of Mangano Calcite if you ever experience an acute bout of anxiety or anger. It's likely you'll notice it help quickly cool your temper and calm your mind.