Summer & the Fire Element

The Summer Solstice will occur on Tuesday, June 20th at 9:24pm PDT, marking the longest day of the year and the beginning of the Summer season. 

Summer is related to the Fire element in Chinese Medicine, and the primary organs are the Heart and Small Intestine. You may already feel the energy of Summer, a very Yang season that activates the Heart energy, encouraging us to connect with others and fully express our love and creativity. Excessive Heart Fire, a common imbalance during this time of year, can cause anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and high blood pressure. As this Heat or Fire gets trapped in the body it can spread throughout the whole system and lead to inflammation and disease.

These 6 tips will help you balance the Fire energy in your life to stay cool and healthy this Summer:

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 and green teas especially 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) Do your 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 with practices like Meditation, Yoga and Qi Gong.

6) Have fun, open your Heart, and allow the playful energy of this warm season to weave through all aspects of your life!