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Stay Healthy this Summer with TCM

Summer is here! It's the season to get out and enjoy life. Flowers are blooming, fruits and vegetables are in abundance. The days are long and full of sunshine. There is abundant energy for activity. This is a time of year to go out, move, and be social. This is an active season, often filled with vacations and visiting friends and family.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is connected to the fire meridians, including the heart, pericardium and small intestine. Like in Western Medicine, the heart is in charge of circulating blood through our blood vessels. In TCM it also houses the Shen, which can be translated as spirit, mind, and consciousness. If your shen is balanced, you will have a healthy complexion with radiant eyes that are clear and bright. You will also be mentally clear and have a good memory. Sleep will be sound and you’ll feel well rested.

If you have too much fire, you will have symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, sweating, palpitations, irregular heart beat, disturbing dreams, mouth sores, thirst, red face, constipation, and dryness. If you look at your tongue and the tip is red, this is an indication of too much heat in the heart. This is often caused by stress, grief, or worry. Overjoy is also an imbalance of the heart and leads to manic behavior. If you don’t have enough fire you would have symptoms like a lusterless complexion, low energy, depression, feeling cold/poor circulation, and low libido. You can also have a lack of drive, joy or compassion, or have a hard time connecting with others or with your inner-self.

Without a healthy heart our bodies and minds can’t function properly. The fire element can be bolstered by connecting to yourself and others. This is a great time of year to share special moments with friends, family, and loved ones to nurture your heart.

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