SUMMER is when nature's Yang Qi continues to increase. All plants and trees are growing and expanding their energy. For this three months of summer, it is the best time to take care and heal your winter diseases. Each season's purpose is to heal the opposite season. Here are some suggestions:
Absorb Vitamin D with using the sun, at least 45 minutes per day. As you accumulate this daily, you will be set for wintertime. The best time of day to do this is in the morning before 11:00 AM. You can be in the shade which is just fine, or if you are out in the sun, put your back to the sun to absorb the rays and increase the Yang Qi on your back.
Now is the time to increase physical activity and you can sweat a bit more. Sweating is nature's way to provide a total cleansing. Make sure you are drinking enough water and eating foods that help your water supply: kiwi, watermelon, cucumber, barley.
When the weather is cool one day and hot the next, it can easily confuse your Wei Qi, your immune system.This is also called your defensive Qi. The best thing to do when you feel warm is take off layers starting at the top of the body. For example: you would take off your hat, jacket and long sleeves first. Do not start from the bottom up (removing shoes and pants). Cold can travel up the legs and enter your interior, your Dan Tien. You do NOT want this area to cool down and be cold!
Practice Tapping Qigong, (Pai Da). This practice will help if you are getting too hot as it releases heat to the exterior of your skin and guides it out. Qigong practice also provides additional cleansing.
Summer is about expansion, growth, activity, abundant energy and creativity. It is associated with the element of Fire and is the most yang time of year. Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest Yang, which means that it is a time of heat, outgoing and moving outward in nature and in our lives. In humans, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. So, a good priority should be given to the heart, mind, and spirit for staying healthy in summertime.
When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm, (not so much constant chatter, not too much thinking) and sleep is sound.
When the fire element is imbalanced, one may lack joy (depression) OR, have an excess of joy (mania). An imbalance in the fire element might include agitation, (can't sit still), nervousness, heartburn, and/or insomnia.
FOOD AS MEDICINE:
Summertime is when the surface of the earth is warms up. However when you step into a tunnel or underground it is very cold. Our body mirrors this same structure. Our yang Qi moves toward the outside and we feel hot, however, our internal organs are very cool. In order to reinforce the yang and nourish the yin for this season, assist your Qi with the following suggestions:
Eat/drink warm or room temperature foods/liquids at least 2 meals per day
Eat more soups and easily digestible foods
Eat or drink 2-3 slices of ginger after breakfast to warm your stomach Qi
Tomatoes and blueberries, these are nature's sunscreen
Strawberries for natural ibuprofin
Papaya, kiwi to replenish water systems
Pistachios for heart
Watermelon to cool heat in the blood and nourish fluids
WHAT ELSE TO EAT?
Lemon, (a little bit, but not every day, no lemon juice in AM)
Orange, a little bit
Summer squash like Yellow crookneck and Zuchinni
Seafood: clams, oysters, scallops, salmon, fish