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Staying Healthy in Summer

Summer Garden

Every season is associated with one of the Five Elements, and for Summer, the element is ‘Fire.’

Summer weather is typically hot, and relatively damp. For example, the muggy feeling you experience during Summer comes from heat causing dampness to condense and rise as it gets hotter. As on the outside, so too on your inside: in summertime, there is a tendency for dampness to accumulate within your body.

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”


Summer Health Problems

During Summer, some typical heat-related problems are: headaches, rashes, and feelings of irritation.

For example: blood pressure may rise from too much heat trapped in the body causing headaches. Damp-induced blister rashes, or boils can erupt on the skin. And an over-heated Heart and Liver can make you feel irritated.

Summer Health Tips

It’s important to drink enough water and eat the right foods to ensure you’re meeting your body’s Summertime needs.

• Drink more water. Because it’s hot and you perspire a lot during the Summer, the average amount of water you should drink in a 24-hour period is 48 ounces; this includes all fluids, such as, juice, soda, and other beverages. (Note: 48 ounces is the equivalent of 6 eight ounce glasses.)

When you are sweating more than usual, drinking more is advisable. It’s important to pay attention to how you feel, and drink more when you’re thirsty.

• Monitor your intake of salt.An imbalance of salt in your body—too much, or too little— can readily occur when temperatures are hot.

You will know you’re getting too much salt if you find that rings you wear get tighter; and socks or shoes that fit you comfortably during cooler weather, leave lines or wrinkles on your feet or ankles because of too much fluid in those areas.

• Eat cooling foods. Cucumbers, mung beans, mung bean sprouts and watermelon are particularly good foods to eat in the Summer. They help keep your body cool, and because of their diuretic properties, they also help offset excess salt intake.

... and REMEMBER


Mid-Spring: Observations and Insights

A camellia falls / spilling out / yesterday’s rain
~ Moritake

You may have been noticing for a while that the calendar is becoming less reliable as an indicator of what’s happening with seasonal energy. For example, while the calendar tells us it’s mid-Spring in the northern hemisphere, the feeling of Summer is coming on strong.

Putting that awareness aside for a moment, I want to share with you what I’ve been observing as we find ourselves at the peak of Spring energy.

Liver/Gallbladder and Lungs at Mid-Spring

People who have a balanced Liver/Gallbladder have lots of energy at mid-Spring, a time when the ‘get-up-and-go’ energy is in the air and pulsing through our bodies.

If the Liver/Gallbladder needs a ‘tune-up,’ you may be feeling a lack of energy—like a car with spark plugs that can’t get things moving.

On top of Liver/Gallbladder symptoms, many of us are having Lung issues like hay fever, allergies, and dry skin because the Lungs are low in energy now.

Oriental Medicine can help relieve symptoms by balancing your energy so you can start feeling better now. And now is the time to build-up the Heart/Kidneys in preparation for the health challenges a body experiences in Summer. Summer is also the time to rebuild Lung energy—take advantage of the opportunity.

Detoxify and Tonify Your Liver

During the Spring season are you, or people you know more irritable than usual? Or surprised by unexpected surges of anger?

If so, then Oriental Medicine can help you become more calm and balanced in your body and mind.

Feel Calmer


According to the 5 Element Theory, Spring is the season of the ‘Wood” energy, and the energetics of ‘Wood’ directly affect your Liver. Since the Liver affects the nerves, if your Liver isn’t balanced you’ll be more prone to irritability and anger in Spring than during the rest of the year.

Tonify and Detoxify
Because the tendency towards irritability and unexpected anger are directly related to Liver imbalance, if you tonify and balance the Liver, you should feel calmer and less frustrated. (“Anger management” techniques are always useful, but if you detoxify your Liver, you’ll have to rely on them less often.)

When your Liver is out of balance you’re more prone to irritability and anger.

How do you know if your Liver is “toxic” — assume that it is! With the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides all around us — in the air, water, food, and other products we use, you should assume your Liver is somewhat toxic, and start doing some simple things to detoxify it.

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.