Keep In Good Health During The Summer
The Summer Solstice is June 20th, and it is good time now to prepare for hot weather and sunshine. You are probably planning a big summer trip and some much needed time off work. To keep in good health in the summer and enjoy your vacation, whether at the beach or on a mountain trail, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a number of helpful guidelines from centuries of practice.
Protecting the Yang of the body is the first recommendation from Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine), the oldest and most important classical book of TCM. From early spring, the Yang essence is rising and spreading to the upper part and surface of the body. It is the main reason why we feel more energetic and alert in the spring and summer than in the winter. We will get sweaty more often, not only because of the hot weather, but also the Yang is more superficial than in winter. A moderate sweating is good for the health since the sweat will release toxins and release negative emotions. However, excessive sweating can be harmful because the body may lose too much Yang essence, especially for the elderly and those who have chronic conditions. Staying in the air-conditioned room or abusing icy drinks or ice cream to prevent sweating all the time isn’t good for your health either. Since the pores are open in the summer, it is very easy to be influenced by pathogenic factors like coldness with dampness if you spend too much time in an air-conditioned office.
Summer is a perfect season to reinforce the immune system to deal with some disorders like allergy and chronic respiratory diseases. There is a treatment rule in TCM that suggests “treating winter diseases in summer”. Quite a few chronic conditions in the winter are because of the deficiency of Yang essence. Protecting the Yang in the summer ahead by either life style adjustment or acupuncture and herb supplements has been an effective prevention approach in China for hundreds of years.
1. Shandong University of Chinese Medicine. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine: Modern translation and explanation. 2008. People’s Medical Publishing House, Beijing, China.