Summer Health Tips

According to Asian medicine, the Heart and Small Intestine are the primary organs associated with summer. Heart qi is strengthened or weakened by the other organs. Overeating cold or frozen foods weakens the Spleen qi, which can weaken Heart qi. So, while trying to stay cool, try to limit your intake of frozen or iced beverages, especially when you are extremely hot. Any extremes of temperature are particularly hard on the body, particularly those with weak digestion.

Because stress weakens the Liver qi, try not to get so busy that you are stressed or losing sleep. A lack of sleep will weaken the Kidney qi as well as increase your risk of Alzheimer’s (see article to left).

Spending large amounts of time in overly air-conditioned buildings will cause Lung deficiency. Try keeping the thermostat turned up to 78 or 80 degrees. This will reduce the stress to your body and lungs when going out into the heat. When any of these organ systems become deficient the Heart qi can be affected.

Another interesting problem of summer is sleeping with a fan blowing directly on the body. According to Asian medicine, wind slows blood circulation, especially while sleeping. If blood circulation slows enough during sleep, the heart may constrict, causing a heart attack. Slow blood circulation can also cause strokes and facial paralysis. If you must use a fan to fall asleep, keep it on the lowest setting and use a plug-in timer to turn it off after an hour or two.

During the summer, foods should be light and cooling in order to help balance the hot Fire element of summer. Light grain salads, steamed or blanched summer vegetables, and moderate amounts of fruit are all good choices during the hot summer months. Try eating less  meat and oily foods also.