Category Archives: holistic health

Drink Water is Important For Your Holistic Health

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking WaterEverywhere you go these days, you see people carrying bottled water.  And because of the emphasis that has been placed on drinking water, it is now the second most popular drink in the United States.  This is really important because every cell in our bodies depends upon water to function.  And with every hour that passes, our bodies lose water.  Unless we replace that, we literally can shrivel up and die.

Water intake is important for so many reasons.  Water helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids.  Every time we breathe, eat, urinate, defecate or sweat, we are using water in some way.  There are also ways that we use water that we don’t see, like the circulation of our blood and lymphatic fluids, the transportation of nutrients in our bodies and the regulation of our body temperature.  For all these processes to occur, water is needed.  This is the number one reason that drinking water is so important.

Drinking water also helps us control our caloric intake.  For many people, weight loss is a big deal and not necessarily an easy battle.  But drinking water with every meal instead of some other beverage that is full of calories is always the best option.  Not only do you avoid ingesting unwanted calories that can possibly turn into unwanted pounds, but you can also feel fuller faster.  This makes it less likely that you will eat as much and this can help keep the waistline slim.

As mentioned before, every cell in our bodies needs water to function and the muscles are no different.  In fact, drinking water actually helps to energize the muscles.  Muscle fatigue is frequently caused by a lack of water in the cells themselves. And while we’re discussing the muscles, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Many people believe that drinking water after a massage helps flush toxins out of the muscles. This is actually not true and science has proven it.  In fact, the process of massaging the muscles actually creates a slightly toxic effect within the muscles known as rhabdomyolysis. And no amount of water will change that because rhabdomyolysis is an unavoidable side effect of massage that occurs just like after an intense workout.

Another reason to drink water is an obvious one. Water helps to keep your body regular.  This includes urination and defecation.  But on an even deeper level, when we are properly hydrated, our kidneys and intestines can function properly and help remove waste products from the body.  A buildup of waste products can lead to illness and death.

Lastly, staying hydrated keeps your skin looking healthy and vibrant. Dehydration makes the skin look dry and wrinkled.  But this doesn’t mean that overhydrating will reverse those wrinkles completely.  Getting enough water can definitely help, but once the body is fully hydrated, the kidneys will get rid of the excess fluid.

Any of these are great reasons to drink water, but do you really need a reason?  When people are properly hydrated, they look and feel better.  So pick up that glass of water and take a big gulp.  Your body will appreciate the attention and continue to support you in return.

If you have an interest in other holistic health benefits, make an online Tigard area appointment with us today.

Holistic Health Tips as Winter Changes to Spring

Stay Healthy This Season with these Holistic Tips

Holistic health tips to stay healthy during the season. For most people, the change of seasons from winter to spring is something to look forward to. But it also means a time when people tend to get sick or seasonal allergies start to flare up. This can make things miserable for a lot of people. As the weather fluctuates between freezing cold and warmer, sunnier days, it also wreaks havoc on our immune system and our sleep. Frequently, our bodies can’t keep up with the constant changes and we get physically run down. But there are some things everybody can do to help during the time of transition from one season to the next.

One of the most common things we hear during this transition time is to stay warm.  This may seem like common sense, but so many people who are sun worshippers just waiting for the warmer days to return, forget this bit of advice as soon as the days start to warm a little. By wearing less clothing or clothing that is not as heavy and warm, we make ourselves susceptible to illness. Even if it’s warm out, you still need to dress appropriately. Save the shorts for a little later in the season.

Another way to stay healthy during the changing seasons is to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. This is another common sense statement, but with longer hours of daylight, many people’s sleep cycles become disrupted. This can cause the immune system to become compromised, making it easier to get sick or for seasonal allergies to flare up.

A study from the National Institute of Health showed that dry winter air allows cold and flu viruses to survive longer and transmit more easily once everything starts to warm up.  With this being said, hydration is important. If dry air makes it more convenient for germs to remain dormant, then flushing them out by keeping your body hydrated is a great way to avoid an infection.

Eating according to the seasons is very important too. As the weather gets warmer, most people gravitate towards healthier food options in an effort to lose some of the winter weight. For spring, eating lighter, more natural foods will actually give the liver a chance to repair itself and that alone can help us feel more energetic and improve our clarity of thought. The immune system also functions better when excess sugar and dairy are removed.

Acupuncture is another great tool that can help make the transition from winter to spring easier. Acupuncture can balance the body as it reacts to the changes in the weather and activity levels. Regular acupuncture treatments have also been shown to boost immunity. Spring can also cause flare ups associated with seasonal allergies and acupuncture treatments can help with the inflammation, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes that accompany the allergic reactions.

For more information on how we can help you as the seasons change, make an appointment for more information on our holistic health services.

Holistic Health Treatments for Respiratory Issues

How Holistic Health Can Help Respiratory Problems

Our lungs are incredibly important. Without properly functioning lungs, we cease to exist. In the United States alone, nearly 200,000 people die every year from forms of respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases include both acute and chronic conditions, everything from the flu to emphysema. While many of these ailments can be prevented, there are others not avoidable due to things like genetics.

In holistic health, the lungs play a very strange role because they are considered the most external of the internal organs. With every breath taken, the lungs come into contact with the outside world. Also, any part of the body that has anything to do with breathing can be considered part of the respiratory system. This includes the nose, bronchi, sinuses, the diaphragm and even the skin, to some degree.

Holistic health treatments for respiratory issues.What’s nice about holistic health, is it approaches the treatment of any condition on a very individualized basis. Every person gets a different treatment protocol depending on their symptoms and diagnosis. There are also accessory modalities like cupping that can help pull toxins out of the lungs and herbal formulas that can be added to treat almost any respiratory condition. Here are some ways that holistic health can help those suffering with respiratory issues.

Acupuncture for Respiratory Issues:  Acupuncture helps build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chee”). When lung Qi is strong and the body is balanced, then respiratory issues rarely become an issue.  Acupuncture stimulates blood flow which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increase blood flow boosts the immune system, dilates the bronchioles and produces anti-inflammatory agents that help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.

Acupuncture Points for Respiratory Issues:

  • Kidney 27 – This point is located bilaterally on the chest, just below the collarbone. Kidney 27 is used to open the lungs, reduce coughing and encourage full breathing.
  • Lung 5 – Lung 5 is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point opens up the airways and the throat, while reducing coughing and wheezing.
  • Ren 17 – This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It is used to open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing.

Chinese Herbals Formulas for Respiratory Issues:  Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in holistic health. One of the most commonly used individual herbs is Wu Wei Zi, also known as Schisandra. This herb is used to treat asthma, wheezing, and boost immune function.

A popular formula choice of holistic health practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. This formula works to clear the nasal passages and it usually accomplishes this within five days to a week. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

Nutrition for Respiratory Issues:  For the lungs and respiratory system to be strong, they need proper nourishment, just like the rest of the body. Certain foods are good for increasing immunity, while also opening up the lungs and increasing circulation. Foods like garlic and onions reduce inflammation and fight off infections. Chili peppers open up the nasal passages, stimulating the mucus membranes and fighting invasion of nasty bacteria and viruses. Carrots and pumpkin are rich in vitamins A, C and lycopene. All of these vitamins affect lung health by lowering the chances of developing lung disease.

As you can see, holistic health is a great way to deal with respiratory issues. If you are having difficulties dealing with these types of conditions, contact our Tigard office to learn more about holistic health.

 

CITATIONS:

https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/foodsforlunghealth

https://www.modernacupuncture.com/news/2017-07-05-breathedeeplyacupunctureforrespiratoryissuesallergies-45

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Energetics+of+Foods+for+Health+and+Healing+-+Part+II

https://www.livestrong.com/article/69650-chineseherbsstrengthinglungs/

http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressurepointstotreatlungdiseases/

http://acupuncturewellness.net/respiratorydiseasesandchinesemedicine/

http://www.touch2cure.com/acupressurepointsforasthma/

 

Winter Holistic Health Tips for a Balanced Qi

Holistic Health Tips for a Tigard Winter

Holistic health tips for winter.Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few holistic health methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi.

Balancing your lifestyle

For most people, a reduction in activity is common during the winter months whether it’s due to the frigid temperatures, damp weather, or lack of activities available in the area where you reside.

Given that reduced activity is likely a factor for many, it’s important to also consume less food this time of year to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Food that should be gravitated towards would be warmer foods such as beans, ginger or garlic, and even soups and stews.

Rest & Relaxation

Although the days are shorter during the winter, it’s important to stay in line with our circadian rhythm. This can be done by having an earlier bedtime and waking up after the sun has had time to warm the earth in the morning. Not only does getting more sleep helps with balancing our Yang Qi, it helps give our body the necessary rest we need in order to prevent common winter illnesses such as the flu, colds, and general aches and pains. Not only that, but according to TCM, unresolved anger, stress and frustration can throw your immune system thus off allowing pathogens to affect the body.

Relaxation is also a way to stay balanced during this time of year.

Drink Plenty of Water

We’re all aware that drinking water is extremely important to our survival, but it does more than simply keeping us alive.

Drinking water has many benefits including the fact that it’s essential for proper kidney function and can even prevent kidney stones. It’s also known for lubricating the joints, delivers oxygen through the body, regulates body temperature, and maintaining blood pressure.

If you have a hard time drinking water, try adding lemon to it to amplify the taste, drinking tea, or adding a vitamin flavor enhancer.

Wash your hands

Winter time is the time of year where we are in close proximity with others because we tend to stay indoors more. That being said, we are more likely to spread our germs to others and vice versa.

Washing your hands often can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy. Other ways to avoid coming in contact with germs is to keep a container of sanitizing cloths with you so you can wipe down door knobs, grocery cart handles, and even condiment containers at restaurants before handling them.

Acupuncture Points

The acupuncture point that we suggest catering to is Du 14. It helps regulate blood circulation and can also strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle to prevent the intrusion and duration of germs and viruses.

Du 14 is a crucial point that is used to release the Exterior and treat Wind-Heat.

Applying holistic health to your active lifestyle is beneficial for your winter health. To learn more about how we can help you improve your winter health, make an appointment at our Tigard office.

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Five Holistic Health Self Care Tips for Winter

Live in Harmony with the Winter Season with Holistic Health Medicine

5 holistic health tips for winterHolistic health medicine teaches that humans should live in harmony with the seasons. According to holistic health medicine there are five seasons: winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall. Each season has many associations that help us change our habits, allowing for a more balanced mind and body. When these systems were being developed, people were living in harmony with nature. People rose with the sun, ate what was available during the different seasons and they were much more aware of their natural environment. What to wear, when to wake up, when to go to sleep and what activities to engage in were all dependent on the weather and the environment. Because of this, people were capable of staying healthy throughout the year and their immune and organ systems were strong enough to ward off disease.

  1. Get some rest

In holistic health, the season of winter is a time of repair and rejuvenation. Winter is associated with the kidneys, which hold the body’s fundamental energies. Rest is important for revitalizing the kidneys.This is why some animals hibernate during the winter months. We should also spend more time resting during the winter months to help prepare our bodies for the months ahead when most people expend more energy.

  1. Incorporate self reflection

Winter is a really good time to turn inward and do some reflection. Practices like tai chi, qi gong and yoga can be very beneficial during the winter season. These practices help us connect to our inner selves, while supporting the kidney energy. They also help relax the mind and calm our emotions. Things like journaling and meditation are other ways of reflecting during the winter months. Long term, these practices can be very helpful at extending a person’s life.

  1. Drink water, lots of water

The kidneys are closely associated and ruled by the water element, which is the element associated with winter, so it is important to remember to drink water during wintertime. Drinking room temperature water is a vital step to maintaining sufficient kidney qi throughout the winter months.

  1. Eat warm, seasonal foods

Choose foods that grow naturally during the winter. Items such as squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, root vegetables like beets, greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and cabbage are great. During the winter months, cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided as they will deplete the immune system. There are also foods that specifically target and nourish the kidneys, including kidney beans, beef, goose, duck, black beans, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, walnuts, quinoa, asparagus, celery, onion, fennel, scallions, cloves, watercress and turnips. Sea salt is also helpful, because salty is the taste associated with the kidneys. As with anything, moderation is key. Too much salt can actually tax the heart, which then causes the kidneys to work overtime.

  1. Treat yourself to some Holistic Health

Holistic health utilizes numerous modalities and tools to help keep the body balanced and prepped for the seasonal changes. Acupuncture and moxibustion are two of the tools that are regularly used to boost the kidney qi. Moxibustion is a practice where dried mugwort is burned very near the skin to warm and boost the qi within the body. There are certain acupuncture points that are essential for boosting kidney qi. Most are located either on the lower abdomen, below the umbilicus or on the lower back above the hip bones, in the areas of the kidneys. Applying moxibustion to these areas is a wonderful way to boost the energy reserves of the kidneys.

When we align ourselves with the natural processes of life and the seasons, our bodies will adjust and perform optimally, just as they are intended to. If you have questions about holistic health, make an appointment at our Tigard office.

 

How Your Lungs Function within Holistic Health

Could Your Lungs be the Problem Behind Your Symptoms?

In the world of Traditional Chinese medicine, the lung is probably the organ whose holistic health functions overlap the most with its Western functions. Respiration, the immune system and the skin are all systems heavily influenced by the lung, both in acupuncture and in Western medicine.

Holistic health treatment for symptoms connected to the lungs.If you visualize where the lungs are located in the body, you will notice they have the most access to the world outside our bodies. They are the only organs that actually have direct contact with the environment. As such, they have to do with protection and separation from harmful pathogens, both of the physical and emotional variety. The lungs are in charge of what we call “Wei Qi,” in Western terms, the Wei Qi would be our immune system. This Wei Qi forms a protective layer around our bodies, encasing us and acting as a barrier. If the Wei Qi is weak, then you have a person who is constantly sick. If you have a tendency to catch a lot of colds and flus, or seem to always feel run-down and prone to infectious illnesses, your Wei Qi is not doing its job. Fortunately, acupuncture and herbs can build up this Wei Qi, forming a wall of protection against these harmful pathogens.

If you are frequently fatigued or seem to often be out of breath, your lungs may benefit from a tune-up with herbs or acupuncture. Weak lung Qi can result in a soft, timid voice, shallow breathing and poor posture (often people with lung deficiencies seem to be hunched over in a posture of protection). Bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia are signs your lung energy isn’t strong enough to perform its job of keeping you healthy.

Allergies are another symptom of weak Wei Qi. The pollen (or whatever it is you are allergic to) can easily enter the body if the external barrier is weak, causing all the symptoms of misery that most greatly affect the lungs: sneezing, coughing and runny nose (the lungs also control the nose in Chinese medicine.)

Since the skin is the outermost layer of the body and is controlled by the lung, it is also affected by weakness of the lung. Eczema, rashes and excessively dry skin can all stem from an imbalance of the lungs.

On an emotional level, the lungs are affected by grief. Have you ever noticed someone who can’t let go of tragedy seems to get sick more often? Constant sadness weakens the energy of the lung, lessening its protective function. If the lung Qi is weak to begin with, it will be difficult for a person to let go of their sadness and move on in a healthy way. This type of patient may also be prone to depression. If you or someone you know would like more holistic health information on the lungs, please contact our Tigard office.

Holistic Health Herbal Medicine for Chest & Sinuses

Holistic Health to treat everyday problems and Help De-congestion

holistic health tips for decongestionA study published by the National Institute of Health looked at the use of Chinese herbal formulas in conjunction with conventional medicine for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. The study surveyed 4,294 patients who utilized holistic health Medicine and of these, nearly 97 percent received herbal remedies. The most commonly prescribed herbal formula for this condition was Xin Yi Qing Fei Tang. While the study did not look at the outcome of the use of the herbal remedy, it is conclusive more people are turning to alternative medicine in order to treat everyday problems like congestion.

Congestion of the chest and sinuses is something everybody has experienced at some point during their life. It can be caused by allergies, the common cold or even changes in the weather. Regardless of the cause, it makes life difficult when we are unable to breathe properly. Many people reach for over-the-counter decongestants as a first line defense. But there are side effects to be aware of when using anything synthetically made in a lab.

Natural remedies, like holistic health, are safer and can generally be used long-term without the side effects. An estimated 30 million people suffer with sinus problems, and congestion is one of the top symptoms associated with sinus issues. Most people who suffer with sinus issues have them for the majority of their lives. This is because once the problem has been cleared up using conventional medications or treatments, the sinus cavities themselves have not been completely drained and the body still sees the remaining mucus as a foreign invader it must attack.

This is where holistic health Medicine surpasses conventional medicine. Holistic health addresses the symptoms and the root of the problem. So not only will the congestion be targeted, but so will be the cause of the congestion. Too much sugar causing excess phlegm?  hronic allergy flare ups? Weak lungs due to asthma or COPD preventing you from expelling the pathogens? All of these things can lead to chronic congestion and holistic health can help.

Holistic health uses many tools to treat congestion. The two most commonly used are acupuncture and herbal formulas. One of the most commonly used herbal formulas is Cang Er San. This formula contains xanthium fruit, magnolia flower, angelica root and mint. If yellow mucus is present, then cooling herbs like honeysuckle flowers and Scutellaria root are added to address the excess heat. But the base formula unblocks the nasal passages, reduces inflammation and expels toxins, all of which lead to congestion.

Another popular choice of holistic health practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. This formula works to clear the nasal passages and it usually accomplishes this within five days to a week. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

Contact our Tigard office to find out how holistic health medicine can help you with any respiratory and congestion issues you might have.

CITATION

Research On Staying Focused with Holistic Health Help

Taking a Holistic View on Your Health Can Help Improve Cognitive Function

Take a holistic health approach to improving your focus with herbs.A recent study published by the Journal of Neural Regeneration Research found acupuncture treatments can lead to improved cognitive function. Functional brain MRIs showed an increase in the communication areas of the brain associated with higher level cognitive function and memory. When cognitive function is improved, so too is one’s ability to stay focused and on task. This study also concluded acupuncture treatments can increase neural plasticity, which decreases naturally as we age. All of this demonstrates acupuncture can indeed improve overall brain function, allowing people to live more fulfilling lives.

Staying focused can be challenging in the world we live in. We are constantly bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, interruptions and more. It can be really frustrating. A recent study by Microsoft found the average human has an attention span of only eight seconds! By comparison, a goldfish has a nine second attention span. We, as a species, can’t even remain focused as long as a goldfish. This speaks volumes about the state of the world.

Part of the problem is our bodies were designed to move and we have become too sedentary. Our nervous system doesn’t know how to respond to this. And it also affects our muscles, tendons and circulatory systems. The more time we spend on our phones, tablets, etc., the more stagnant everything becomes. Our muscles shorten, tighten and atrophy, our circulation becomes sluggish and our brains foggy. For everything to function properly, you have to get up and move. But there are other ways to increase focus and concentration.

Holistic health can be very helpful when it comes to improving focus and concentration. There are specific acupuncture points, as well as individual herbs and herbal formulas that can be utilized.

One of the most commonly used acupuncture points for improving focus is called Du 20 or Governing Vessel 20. This point is located on the top of the head, midway between the apexes of both ears. Du 20 has been noted to improve mental clarity and awareness, while also enhancing memory.

Yin Tang is another favorite point of licensed acupuncturists. Yin Tang is located between the inner ends of both eyebrows. Yin Tang improves concentration and memory, while also clearing the mind and lifting the spirits.

There are a couple of individual herbs used in holistic health that can be very helpful for improving focus. The first is known as Dan Shen or Salvia. Holistic health uses this herb to increase blood flow and a study done in 2003 showed focus and memory were improved on subjects who used this herb.

An herbal formula known as Bu Nao Wan is frequently prescribed for people who have memory problems related to weakness in the kidney system of holistic health. Several of the herbs in this formula have been used for centuries to calm the mind and improve focus.

If you or somebody you know suffers from attention deficit issues, acupuncture might be exactly what they need to get back on track. If you are interested in holistic health and increasing your focus, make an appointment at our Tigard office.

Acupuncture & Natural Medicine for Sprains & Strains

Oregon Natural Medicine for Sprains & Strains

We’ve all heard of and maybe even experienced a sprain or a strain. But do you really know the difference? A sprain is defined as a stretch or tear of a ligament. A strain, on the other hand, is defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.

Natural medicine & acupuncture for strains & sprains.There are specific ways of telling the difference between a sprain and a strain based on the symptoms that appear. Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, instability, bruising and loss of functional joint ability. Sometimes there is an audible pop when the injury occurs. There are different levels of sprains too. A Grade I or mild sprain is generally caused by overstretching or the minor tearing of a ligament, but the person will still have joint stability. A Grade II or moderate sprain is more intense, but the person only experiences some loss of joint function. A Grade III or severe sprain occurs when there is a complete tear in the ligament and the person is unable to put any weight on the joint.

Strains, on the other hand, have very different symptoms. Most people who experience a strain, will report pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms and possibly muscle weakness. There may also be cramping, swelling and inflammation.

Instinctively, when a person experiences a sprain or a strain, learned first aid skills take over. Things like taking the pressure off the joint, raising the joint and applying ice to alleviate swelling and inflammation are all great places to start. Icing a sprain or strain is only good for the first 48 to 72 hours, as it will help decrease swelling. However, prolonged use of ice may impair movement and also interfere with the healing process because it constricts the tissues and impedes blood flow. But there are other possible solutions to healing a sprain or a strain. And one of these would be to see an acupuncturist or natural medicine practitioner.

Natural medicine practitioners have many tools at their disposal that can assist in increased healing of a strain or sprain. When either of these injuries occur, the muscles surrounding the area tighten up in an effort to protect the injured site. This can then lead to stiffness in that joint. This is the body’s natural defense mechanism that decreases strong blood flow to the area. Natural medicine practitioners use acupuncture and other modalities to help loosen up the muscles and increase blood flow to the area, which brings in tissue-healing oxygen and nutrients.

Increasing blood flow is just one way natural medicine can help. There are also specific acupressure points that reduce swelling, decrease inflammation and alleviate pain. Through the use of regular acupuncture treatments following a sprain or strain injury, the body can heal faster. The more frequently a person comes in for their acupuncture treatments, the quicker the results will occur.

If you are having problems with strains or sprains, make an appointment to see how natural medicine and acupuncture can help you.

Eating Natural Healthy: Five Foods for Summer

Natural, Seasonal, Healthy Foods for the Time of Utmost Yang

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a medical system thousands of years old and incorporates many different modalities. TCM theory emphasizes that Mother Nature provides the right kind of food for the right kind of environment. For instance, if the weather is cold, then warming, nutrient-dense foods are best for the body. Likewise, when summer rolls around, it is best to partake of cooling foods and foods abundant during this season.

Summer natural healthy foods for the Portland area.Summer is a time of great abundance. Or as the Chinese refer to it, the time of utmost yang. The days are longer and warmer. And everything and everybody seems to be more active. The warmth of the summer sun encourages growth and maturation. In TCM, summer relates to the element of fire and the heart and small intestine energetic pathways or meridians. Because summer is a time of growth, many fruits and vegetables become abundant during the season. And because the season tends to be the warmest, it is important to stay cool and hydrated.

The summer months are generally hot and therefore the body needs to be kept cool. This is the perfect time to eat more raw foods that can clear heat. But as with anything, don’t overdo it. Too many cold or raw foods can wreak havoc on the digestive tract causing spasms, tightness and contractions. This will make the body work harder to warm the food being eaten, which can then deplete the Qi of the spleen and stomach meridians. Therefore cooked foods and even soups are still recommended during the warm summer months. They are usually made with seasonally-available foods or eaten at room temperature to avoid any digestive conflict.

It is best to avoid heavy, greasy and fried foods during the summer months, as they can also clog up the digestive system. They can also create excess phlegm in the lungs leading to respiratory problems. And when cooking during the season of summer, it is best to create meals quickly and simply by grilling or stir frying.

As mentioned, foods cooling or neutral in nature and hydrating foods are all good choices during the summer months. Here are some foods recommended to eat throughout the season of summer.

1. Summer Vegetables: Things like peppers, eggplant, onions and summer squash are all good choices. They tend to be high in water content which helps keep the body cool.

2. Greens: Foods like cabbage, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard and spinach are great choices to add to a salad or even to stir fry. They tend to be neutral to cooling in nature.

3. Melons: Melons are high in water content, so they are great to have around on those really hot summer days for replenishing lost fluids. They are also non-calorie dense, so they won’t be heavy on the stomach.

4. Seafood: While most meats tend to be warming in nature, seafood is not. It leans more heavily toward the cooling nature of food. This makes it a great choice for summer dinners. It’s also high in protein and easy to throw on the grill.

5. Fruit: Summer is when there is an abundance of fruits. Most fruit tends to be cooling in nature, but the high sugar content can be detrimental to the spleen. The best choices are fruits grown in tropical climates, as they have the highest water content.

If you need more help understanding or designing a proper seasonal eating plan, stop by our Portland area office or make an appointment. We want to help identify what plan works best for you.