If you are one of the many who seem intolerant of the heat and/or the humidity, that seem to almost feel worse in the summer, may feel heavy or insist on being where it is cooler thus missing out on quality outside time with family and friends, then there is an answer for you!
Acupuncture and herbs can help! So let’s talk about the acupuncture first.
Incorporating treatments into your weekly routine can help find the balance in your system. According to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, the season of Summer corresponds to the Heart and the element of fire. It also has a correspondence with the Spleen system when it comes to intolerance of humidity due to the Spleen’s role in transforming our food/drink into pure qi. If the Spleen is not doing it’s job (due to an imbalance caused by different possibilities), then it is not able to fully transform the food/drink into pure qi and only manages to create dampness. This can be compounded further as the dampness sits, it becomes phlegm and can cause other issues that we will further discuss at a later date. If dampness is present, one may notice weight gain around the mid-section of their body, a “four-limb heaviness” sensation where it feels as if to move the body is more effort than it should be, indigestion, loose and possibly discolored stools, skin rashes/acne, and cravings for dairy-based and sweet foods. Spleen 9 and Stomach 40 are key points to drain damp and eliminate phlegm. Stomach 25, CV 10, and CV 12 are fantastic points to boost the Spleen and digestion while regulating the bowels. These are best needled by a licensed acupuncturist and then can become a part of a home acupressure program to continue progress.
As for herbs and one’s diet, simply decreasing dairy intake (1 serving a day), cutting down on processed sugary foods (1 serving a day), and adding cooling foods such as cucumber, plums, lemon, scallions, celery, garlic, onions, turnip, radish, kohl rabi (do a Google search for a recipe titled “Rock Salad” for a great salad that even kids will love!) will help! There are herbal formulas that can address summerheat and dampness but please consult a licensed herbalist before taking anything over the counter. And drinking 2-3 cups of Barley tea (decaffeinated and can be brewed/enjoyed cold) a day will also help curb the intolerance for heat and humidity. Little factoid: chicken is warm in nature and when you grill it, you now are going to ingest something very hot….couple your grilled dinner with a cool salad or some of the suggestions above to find the temperature balance your Spleen and digestive system craves for optimum functioning. Once your Spleen system is working well, one may find weight is easier to lose when partnered with exercise!
Move and eat with the season and you can never go wrong! If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to email me/comment here and Enjoy your summer!