Traditional Chinese Medicine Tips: Your Summer Wellness Guide
All of the chilled face mists and fresh-pressed juices in the world would only temporarily alleviate the stifling heat that comes with summer. No matter how refreshing in the moment, the effect is but temporary bliss: a few minutes later and you’re back to square one. Breezier fabrics may help, as would having cold water on tap — but the truth is that there are more effective ways of beating the heat than cranking your air-con all the way up.
And none of these solutions involve ice.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) imbues the existence of energy (not to mention, an understanding of everyday reality) into the tenets of its health and wellness system. It makes sense, then, that TCM would actually address the effects that each season has on one’s mind, body, and qi (which loosely translates to “vital energy” or “life force”). To achieve balance is to maintain both mental and physical health — and to do so effectively requires modifying everyday habits to accommodate these natural, external shifts. Just look WTHN and trust your gut; these adjustments are more intuitive than you think and get easier with practice.
Start your journey with three of our simplest — and favorite — summer wellness tips:
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2. Incorporate cooling foods into your diet.
…and drink more water. In TCM, “cooling” doesn’t refer to literal, cold-in-temperature foods. Instead, it’s used to identify how foods affect the body when ingested. Across the board, avoid eating or drinking anything ice-cold; room temperature is easier on your digestive system.
In general, you want to add fruits and vegetables like celery, cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, papaya, squash, and watermelon into your summer meals. Herbs like ginger, mint, and matcha, can help re-balance and regulate your internal temperature. (It’s important to note, though, that TCM divides summer into two parts. The foods recommended for early and late summer differ slightly — but for those new to this approach, small steps in the right direction are more than enough.)
3. Massage key acupressure points or invest in acupuncture.
Acupuncture, too, can help clear heat and cool the body down — and in doing so, leads to improved sleep, mood, and digestion. If you aren’t able to make it to our NYC studio, focus on massaging:
- Large Intestine 4 (the web between your pointer finger and thumb) to help clear heat and alleviate constipation.
- Spleen 10 (located about an inch above your knee and diagonally toward the inner thigh) helps clear heat from the skin — so keep this point in mind just in case you get a sunburn or experience inflammation that surfaces as redness (like acne).
- Liver 3 (the web between your big toe and second toe) can help soften feelings of frustration or good ol’ crankiness (two common consequences of heat) so we feel more in tune with the flow.
Any questions? DM us or ask one of our TCM experts a question.