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Seasonal Health Tips

Getting Ready for Fire Season

Hawaiian lava flow

It’s June, the third month of Spring; the time where the energy (Chi) - inside and outside of you - begins its shift from the Wood element to the Fire Element.  The temperatures are rising, the air is getting dryer - the conditions that support fire.

From an Oriental Medicine point of view, this metaphorical thinking points out that to stay healthy over the next few months, your organs need to be balanced so that they’re able to deal with conditions caused by heat: primarily your Heart and Kidneys. Heart is the organ associated with Fire energy, and Kidneys with Water.

The Heart is most affected during summer, and consequently the Kidneys have to work hard to keep things cooled down, because Water regulates Fire.

Back to the Center
The first few weeks of June are also a good time to pay attention to your digestion. As one season is close to becoming the next, a re-centering takes place. During this transition time - about three weeks prior to the equinox or solstice - the energy (Chi) grounds itself before moving into the seasonal phase. This coming back to center, or rooting, is an attribute of the Earth element, which affects the Stomach and overall digestive processes. Then, after the equinox, you’ll find that your body and mind are more affected by the Fire energy.

Catching Fire
So what are some health issues to be conscious of during the summer Fire season?

  • Spikes in blood pressure or heart irregularity.
  • (Remember: Heart is the Fire organ).

  • Insomnia. This may be an indicator of Heart imbalance.
  • Feelings of anxiety and fear stemming from weakness in the Kidneys.
  • Headache, heartburn, and upper body heat associated with “heat rising” in the body.
  • Containing Fire
    Clearly fire is a good thing. It is a foundational element of life. And, we all know the damaging effects that out of control fire causes.

    Oriental Medicine is a very effective way to enhance the Fire power in your body while simultaneously strengthening the organs that regulate it. The result: a healthy, balanced body and mind, “firing on all pistons.”

    Read our article Staying Healthy in Summer to find out some simple things that promote summer health and happiness.


    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.

    What You Need to Know About Winter

    With the passing of the busy Holiday season, Winter’s Quiet has come into focus. Now and then, listen to it’s unique qualities; notice how you feel ... in the Quiet ... Cold and Dark, sometimes Wet and sometimes Dry ... Quiet ways of Winter.  Become more aware of your body and spirit, your mind and emotions ... Winter can affect your overall health in ways you may not be aware of.

    Like a flowing stream slowed by frost, Winter Cold slows your body’s energy down — at a time when it takes more energy to stay warm; energy your body also needs to keep fluid flowing through it, because the heat that warms also dries you out. And be aware that the Darkness of Winter can also darken the psyche as the tendency to ‘hibernate’ heightens the sense of being more alone.

    Although everyone is affected differently, when you recognize the Nature of Winter you begin to understand more clearly the effects this season has on your health.

    Winterize Yourself
    For Winter, just like every season in the year, as well as every season in your life, there are some ‘common sense’ things to know and do to keep yourself and your family healthy during this vulnerable time.

    Stay Warm
    In general, staying warm is your body’s primary concern in Winter.

    Oriental Medicine at BIOM is a common-sense approach to health and well-being.

    • Use a hot water bottle to warm a cold bed before you lie down in it.
    • Move a chair closer to a nearby radiator.
    • Wear warm socks because when your feet are cold, your whole body is more likely to be easily chilled.
    • Wear gloves on a cold day.
    • When you’re outside enjoying Winter sports, make sure you dress properly so your body doesn’t get too chilled.
    • Overall, it’s important to keep your wrists, ankles, and the back of your neck protected from Cold.

    Enlighten Yourself
    If you have any tendency toward “cabin fever,” feel ‘down’ on overcast or rainy days, or experience any other
    discomfort from too much time in the Dark, try this:

      It’s easier to prevent colds than it is to recover from them.
    • Spend some time outside during daylight.
    • Make sure you are in a well lit space for some time during each day.
    • Replace standard light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs.

    Stay Dry—Not ‘Dried Out’
    If Dryness is effecting you, keep yourself well-hydrated.

    • Eat soups, drink tea (the less caffeine the better if you’re feeling dry).
    • Some fruit and yogurt is okay, though remember they are ‘cold energy’ foods and you may feel cooler after eating them.
    • Use ‘toxin-free’ skin care products on dry skin. Chinese medical herbs are wonderful for moistening many the parts of your body that need it, like skin, hair, eyes, nasal passages, throat, and more.

    So take good care of yourself this Winter, and remember:  It’s much easier to
    prevent colds and other health problems than it is to recover
    from them!

    Related Articles
    Staying Healthy in Winter
    Seasonal Health Tips
    Winter Photos

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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.