Mindy's Quantum Wellness

Living in flow with the seasons means learning how to create a symbiotic relationship with the earth through our everyday actions – to create balance and longevity in our body, mind and spirit. Taking into account our daily actions and inactions helps to build up a storehouse of good energy that will help us flow gracefully into the next season which, in Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM), is called “Late Summer.” Late Summer also more commonly goes by the name Indian Summer, and lasts from August to September or even into October, depending on which part of the Northern Hemisphere you reside.

What is Yang?

TaichiThrough the eyes of a TEAM Practitioner, summer is the season of yang energy and the corresponding element in the Five Element cycle is fire. The dominant qualities and characteristics we see and experience during this season are:

  • bright
  • lightweight
  • red
  • hot/heat
  • fire
  • active
  • morning
  • south
  • masculine
  • upward
  • outward
  • growth
  • hearth
  • small intestine
  • laughter
  • scorched smell
  • joy
  • bitter flavor
  • blood vessels
  • tongue

Mascots of Summer

The representative organs are the Heart and Small Intestine and work in harmony with the color red. The Heart is regarded as “The Emperor” over all the other organs and, while it is a yin organ, it is also very yang in its actions of pumping non-stop to circulate qi (pronounced chee) and blood throughout the entire body. 

The Small Intestine is its complimentary yang organ and is in charge of separating the “clear from the turbid.” It absorbs nutrients and energy from the food we eat and discarding what is not needed to the Large Intestine for elimination. When these organs are in balance we will display healthy active energy, ability to discern right from wrong, have clear communication and stable emotions revolving around the emotion of joy. 

When imbalanced in these organs we will see digestive disturbances, inability to freely express our thoughts and feelings, a depressed attitude, anxiety and sleep disturbances – just to name a few. 

While yin is the complimentary opposite of yang, it plays a crucial role in keeping yang in check. The balanced use of the water element will help us accomplish this.

In accordance to the Five Element principals, what we do to nourish and balance our fire element in the summer will help us to have a healthier Late Summer and Fall season- both of which are related to the earth element which is the center of our health. 

Yang Sheng Practices

Yang Sheng or self-nourishment practices that we can incorporate from June to early August are as follows:

  • Waking early and going to sleep later – following the rising and setting of the sun
  • Exercising early in the day will get the qi moving and prevent from heat exhaustion as the day progressively warms up. Water sports such as swimming, water polo or water aerobics are highly encouraged.
  • Resting or meditating for 10-30 minutes at noon will help balance the yang energy of the day and ease digestion
  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of clean, filtered water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Add in trace minerals to your morning glass of water to prevent muscle cramps, headaches and to provide a plethora of nourishment to your organs, bones, endocrine system and cells.
  • Putting a tablespoon of chia seeds in an 8 oz glass of water will bring in more yin energy due to the slimy nature of the seed when they’re soaked for 5 minutes or more, and help clean the intestines with its fiber.
  • Incorporate red foods into your diet such as cherries, strawberries, cranberries, apples, watermelon, goji berries, red beans, radish, tomatoes and jujubes.
  • Bitter, green and cold foods should be consumed as well, such as cucumbers, bitter melons, kiwis, and dark leafy greens. Green tea in the morning will also bring many benefits.
  • Having fun, being more outwardly social and expressing yourself through your favorite art medium will help to bring balanced nourishment to your Heart.
  • Depending on your skin type – getting 15-45 minutes of full body sun exposure between 3 and 5 pm will help you store up adequate amounts of natural vitamin D for the winter.
  • Eliminating your home of items that you no longer need or enjoy, organizing areas of clutter and adding in splashes of red to your home and wardrobe will help nourish the Small Intestine.

Chill Out with Acupressure

Two CherriesThe following is a simple protocol I put together that can be done 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times/week, to help bring about relief from the hot weather. Each point should be pressed 50-100 times with moderate pressure to achieve the desired result as you practice slow, deep inhales and exhales.

Please note, if you are elderly, taking any blood thinners, or supplements like fish oil, you may be more prone to bruising while practicing acupressure. Keep this in mind before implementing it and if it is too painful or uncomfortable at anytime, use your instincts and refrain from using this method.

Pressure Points

Below are point location images from Peter Deadman’s, “A Manual of Acupuncture” text.

UB 40

Acupressure Point: UB 40 – Middle of the Crook. 

Location: In the center of the back of the knee.

Benefits: Benefits the low back, clears pain from the channel, cools the blood, clears summer-heat, stops vomiting and diarrhea, benefits the bladder.

LI 11

Acupressure Point: LI 11 – Pool at the Crook 

Location: On the lateral side (thumb side) of the elbow

Benefits: Clears heat, cools the blood, eliminates wind (twitching), drains damp and alleviates itching. Regulates the qi and blood. Activates the Large Intestine channel and alleviates pain.

Acupressure Point SP 10

Acupressure Point: SP 10 – Sea of Blood 

Location: Two thumb widths above the knee bone on the medial side of the thigh.

Benefits: Helps to cool the blood, harmonizes menstruation and benefits the skin.

I hope you find benefit from the above tips, tricks and suggestions. Let me know in the comments if you tried any of them and your experience with implementing them.

May you find peace, joy, greater flow and balance this Summer!

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