Skip to content

Summer’s Bounty

Diet Tips for Staying Balanced in the ‘Great Yang’ Season

The Great Yang season is upon us. Yang energy is bright, fiery and hot like the midday sun. Yang is the counterbalance to Yin. Yin is expressed in the cooling, calming energies of life. Together, Yin & Yang, like night & day, represent the dynamic balance between the opposing, but complementary forces that make up all of existence. These forces are ceaselessly intermingling in a sacred dance of life’s cycles. The cycle of the seasons is a perfect demonstration of this balance in motion, and as we turn the corner into summer, we reach a pinnacle in the cycle, the summer solstice. Summer is known as the “Great Yang” season because of this peak in the yang energy: the sun (ultimate yang energy) is closest to the earth and the day (yang time) is the longest at this time of year. 

strawberries

We, as humans, are part of nature, so these forces exist in us just as in our environment. With each changing season, Chinese Medicine offers lifestyle guidance to tune our own energy cycles to the world around us so that we can live in health and harmony.

One of the branches of this ancient medicine and health philosophy is dietetics. There are a number of simple things to consider when adjusting your diet to the energy of the Great Yang season.

In Season Fruits/Veggies/Herbs:

Time to hit the farmer’s market! It’s vital to interact with your natural environment through the food it offers. Summer is full of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that help to keep you hydrated, and to disperse your Qi to match the light, ascending energy of yang. Nature knows best so pay attention to what is growing well in your area as it may be exactly what your body needs to be more aligned with the energy of the season.

Heart and Small Intestine Considerations:

The heart and small intestine are the paired yin and yang organs associated with summertime and the element of fire. The heart houses the mind and it’s job is to perfuse the body with blood while the small intestine’s job is to sort and process the food received from the stomach. Blood tonifying foods like dark leafy greens and lean meat are important to ensure a blood-rich safe haven for the mind to rest, as well as enough blood to carry that energy of consciousness throughout the body. Red foods like cherries, strawberries, goji berries and tomatoes support the fire element and it’s no coincidence that these foods are rich in antioxidants credited with cardiovascular benefits. Also, have a heart when considering the important sorting job of the small intestine. We can alleviate stress on this organ by not
 overloading it with nutrient-deficient, over-processed food.
Keep it fresh!

Timing is Everything: 

11am-1pm is heart time according to the 24-hour cycle of energies in our bodies. Lunch time, the time when the energy is strongest in the heart meridian is also a time when our digestive fire is strong, so enjoy a mid-day meal! 1pm-3pm is small intestine time, this is the time to sort and absorb food, rest, and allow your body to process the nutrients. 

Presentation of Food:

Be mindful of aesthetics when serving yourself or others food in all seasons, but especially summer, as beauty pleases the heart. What feeling does your food stimulate before you even eat it? Consider garnishing your dishes with a little extra love like a sprinkle of sesame seeds or a fresh edible flower.


Summer Recipe: 

While a soup may seem like more winter-appropriate, sipping a warm soup can help the body stay hydrated and also induce gentle perspiration to keep the body cool. You can add slightly cooling (in nature not temperature) foods and herbs to the soup to balance the warm temperature. Here’s a simple summer soup to assist the heart in blood circulation and Qi dispersion while helping to eliminate excess heat. 

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup beets
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • ½ oz carthamus flowers (commonly known as safflower, this is an herb for blood circulation in Chinese Medicine)

Cut the beets and carrots into cubes and stew in the stock for 15 minutes. Cut the corn off the cob and palace the carthamus flowers in a sachet. Add the corn, carthamus sachet and sesame oil and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Posted in | Comments Off on Summer’s Bounty

Easing Transitions with the Earth Element

We all are very familiar with Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter but why does Chinese Medicine include a fifth season and where does it fit on the calendar?  According to TCM theory, the fifth season is actually that important time between the seasons, where we ‘return to center’ so we can ‘pivot’.  About 2-3 weeks before the beginning of each season is a time of transition.  

lemon on pink background

Each season correlates with an elemental energy. Spring belongs to the wood element, Summer to fire, Fall to metal and Winter to water. The transitional time between the seasons rightfully belongs to the earth element as this is the time when the seasonally dominant energy returns to the earth to be transformed into the next seasonal energy.

The Earth Element is generated and managed in the body by the spleen and stomach. These organs are in the business of metamorphosis. As digestive organs (according to TCM), they transport and transform the food we eat into nutrition to build our blood and nourish our cells. The spleen governs the muscles, and is important in the free movement of the body. The associated orifice is the mouth and spleen Qi manifests in the lips. The Spleen is also known for housing the intellect (yi) and is involved with the thinking aspect of spirit. The color of the earth element is yellow, and the taste is sweet. 

The Chinese Lunar Calendar sets the start of the seasons earlier than our Gregorian calendar, so if we are following the seasons according to Chinese Medicine we can anticipate the start of Fall this year around Aug 7th. The period about 18 days prior to that date (beginning around mid-July) is called late summer,  and this is the time to pay special attention to the energy of transition. 

The benefit of nourishing our earth element during this time is to gain balance and stability for periods of change. The earth element represents our wide center stance from which we can safely assess the next move (picture the slow smooth movements of tai chi). The importance of core stability rings true whether we are talking about physical activity or more subtle energy dynamics.

1) Diet:

Avoid damp cold food such as ice cream as it can put a burden on the spleen that prefers warm, dry conditions. Eat breakfast between 7-9am which is stomach time according to the Qi clock. From 9-11am is spleen time. Some gentle activity is ok but as the spleen converts food to Qi, try to take it easy so you do not disrupt digestion. Avoid processed sugar while enjoying the natural balance of sweetness from the earth with foods like apples, carrots, dates, and sweet potatoes.

2) Release Worry-Patterns: 

The spleen houses the intellect and is responsible for thought but can be weighed down by overthinking. This will slow its ability to transform our food. We can all think of times when worry led to unpleasant digestive experiences.
So, find ways to shift patterns of over-thinking and worry.
(Cue the serenity prayer…)

3) Yellow: 

Stimulate earth energy with its color and brighten up someone’s day by wearing more yellow. Notice the yellow colors in nature, stop and absorb their frequency. And eat yellow foods: bananas, yellow peppers, lemons etc.

4) Earthing: 

You know what to do. Connect direct! Get those bare feet on the ground (pesticide-free please).

Now get some Vitamin-E on those earthy lips and pucker up: you’ll be ready to give Fall a sweet kiss hello.

Posted in | Comments Off on Easing Transitions with the Earth Element

Is Acupuncture Safe Post-Covid? 4 Things Your Acupuncturist Wants You to Know Before You Book Your Appointment

Is Acupuncture Safe Post-Covid? 4 Things Your Acupuncturist Wants You to Know Before You Book Your Appointment

To say that 2020 was a stressful year is putting it mildly. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, many people put checkups and other medical procedures on hold, including acupuncture treatments. If you are more than ready to get back to your treatments, here are four things your acupuncturist wants you to know about their safety procedures in this new normal. And if this does not answer all your questions, please feel free to ask. Your acupuncturist wants you to feel safe and secure as you return for your first appointment.  continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Is Acupuncture Safe Post-Covid? 4 Things Your Acupuncturist Wants You to Know Before You Book Your Appointment

Acupuncture for Healthy Weight Loss

Weight Loss - your healthy weight loss program can include acupuncture

In the United States, an estimated 300,000 people a year die from obesity. 

In several studies over the last five years, researchers have shown patients who receive regular acupuncture treatments see faster weight loss results than those who do not. In each case, the acupuncture treatments were combined with dietary and lifestyle changes also aimed at weight loss, but the patients who got acupuncture saw better results than those who focused on dietary and lifestyle changes alone. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Weight Loss | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Acupuncture for Healthy Weight Loss

Acupuncture for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day - The Perfect Gift of Acupuncture

What better way to celebrate and support the mothers in your life this year than with an acupuncture appointment?

As a one-time mother’s day gift, acupuncture is a relaxing, revitalizing hour all for herself.

As a regular part of her health routine, acupuncture can keep her from getting sick frequently and offer a holistic treatment option for a variety of women’s health issues.

Not convinced? Here are four ways acupuncture supports women’s health and would make a great gift for any mom or woman you want to celebrate this May. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Acupuncture for Mother’s Day
Call 9143648897 View Map Contact/Schedule