Summer is officially here, although it may not look it. The sun has been teasing us on and off for weeks now, but hopefully it won’t be so coy in July. Wherever you are though, here are some tips to help you stay healthy and happy all season long.
Tips for a happy and healthy summer
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) summer is the season of the big yang and is characterized by the fire phase and summer-heat. While the British summer doesn’t immediately bring to mind images of sweltering heat, you can still take advantage of TCM nutrition and dietetics.
After its gradual rising during springtime, yang qi is now in full swing in the summer, like the noon sun.
When the sun is blazing, barbeques and beer and Pimms in the park are popular. Unfortunately these things can be quite “heaty” for the body so don’t over do it, and balance things out with lots of fruit and vegetables which are in abundance during the summer. Seek out cooling food like salads, green tea, cucumber, tomatoes and spinach help disperse heat and calm the system.
Don’t confuse cooling with cold. Cold foods can impair the function of the spleen according to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine. When the spleen is weakened its ability to transform and transport the nutrients from your food is also disrupted and it could lead to symptoms like indigestion, loose stools, lethargy or dizziness.
The Spleen functions best when it’s given warm, nourishing food that’s easily digested. It is summer though, and who wants stews and soups in the heat? Eat light, both in flavours and in portion-size.
You can have your ice cream and eat it too, but don’t overindulge and have five in a row. One of my favourite summer-time salads consists of little boiled jersey potatoes, stir-fried asparagus, cherry tomatoes and tuna all on a bed of salad leaves - served at room temperature.
While sunshine is a wonderful thing, we should still enjoy it responsibly and with respect. Remember to wear SPF, a hat and sunglasses. Always have a bottle of water with you, especially if you travel on public transport. There is nothing worse than being stuck on a packed train or bus in the heat without any water to sip. Heatstroke is a very real thing that isn’t only seen in the tropics. Avoid being in the sun at its strongest (noon - 2pm) and go to a cool, shady place if you feel tired, or a sharp, “stabby” headache coming on.
Growing up, summer was a vast shadow stretching before us, the days spanning into weeks and then into months. What a luxury it was for my friends and I to have such a long period off school to indulge our imaginations and play to our hearts’ content.
The world today for many of us is a lot more complicated. There are many things whirring in our heads, what with all the caps we wear for the different roles in our lives. Use this time to remind yourself of what you love best and maybe, just take a step back and breathe. Sometimes we forget to do that, but it’s an awfully nice feeling to remember.
If you enjoyed this, then be sure to visit the blog The Happy Acupuncturist to read more articles, tips and health news.
Reduce Joint Pain and Stiffness in Two Minutes Flat
We all know about stretching before and after exercise to help our muscles but what about our poor, neglected joints? In order to stay healthy, our shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles need to be moved through their entire ranges of motion but on a typical day we barely use them to the full potential. Try this for your hips: stand with feet hip-distance apart, hands on waist. Move your hips forward, to the side, to the back, to the other side and forward again, making an exaggerated circle. Do 10 rotations clockwise and 10 counterclockwise.
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
A simple and delicious way to relax and wind down is to whip up a fruity smoothie! Here are a few simple and easy smoothie recipes
you can try this weekend!
Other news: Holiday notice
I will be away on holiday from 26 July to 13 August 2012
so please keep this in mind when scheduling any appointments you may need. To book your acupuncture appointment please call Gielly Green 020 7034 3060 or The Hale Clinic 020 7631 0156. http://pointspace.co.uk/contact.php
Even if you don’t ever eat at McDonald’s, this short video
opens your eyes to the dangers of hidden salt in fast food. See if you know what has more salt - it may surprise you.