Summer is often a time we slow down and have more fun. Vacations, beach visits, meeting up with family and friends. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), summer belongs to the fire element. It is about expansion, outward expression, activity and joy. The heart is the ruler of this time. It houses the ‘Shen”, or spirit, and this is the time to let it feel as free as possible. Summer is nature’s way of healing the heart by providing the ideal setting for all things heart-related!

Be Active: The energy of summer in Chinese medicine is considered very yang in nature. Fire is the element of extreme yang, and has a radiating, dispersing power. Think of the lively dance of fire burning. This is the time to move, get our heart pumping, and blood circulating. This is time for focusing on cardiovascular health! Summer makes this a much more inviting task with outdoor sports, swimming, hiking, or simply a walk on a warm summer night. And don’t forget to dance… never forget to dance.

Find Community: The sound that belongs to the heart according to TCM is laughter and the emotion is joy. It’s no wonder that joy feels best when shared. It’s also no wonder that researchers have found that the quality of family relationships and social connection is a strong factor in heart disease prevention. So, as summer provides the warm inviting opportunities to get together, treasure your family and friends (and pets!) and find ways to connect, laugh and share your joy.

Seek Sunshine: What better way to bask in the healing power of summer than by soaking up the healing rays of sunshine. Get a reasonable amount of sun exposure. When UV rays hit human skin, they help to produce Vitamin D3, which reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Those same UV rays cause the skin to release beta-endorphins which promote natural pain relief and a sense of well-being. For those of us who experience cold winters, the warmth of sunshine is one of the most welcome feelings and one of the best ways to support our fire element.

So, what are you doing this summer? Remember that summer is the season to support your heart and digestive system with acupuncture. Give us a call today to schedule your qi tune-up.