The Joy Of Healing: How Summer Fun Heals the Heart

 The Joy Of Healing: How Summer Fun Heals the Heart

What comes to mind when you think of summer? For me, it stirs up the nostalgia of childhood feelings of freedom, knowing that those endless days were all mine to fill with family and friends as we shared the sunshine. While “adulting” doesn’t always leave room for that kind of freedom, the promise of summer still gives us so much to celebrate.

In TCM, summer belongs to the Fire element. It is about expansion, outward expression, activity, and joy. The heart is the ruler of this time. It houses the Shen, Spirit, and this is the time to let the spirit dance and frolic and feel as free as possible. With the fire element in balance, the heart is happy, the mind is clear, and the body maintains health with a blend of movement and stillness, excitement, and peace. Summer is nature’s way of healing the heart by providing the ideal setting for all things heart-related! 

So get pumped for summer and all the healing it brings via:

Sunshine 

What better way to bask in the healing power of summer than by soaking up the healing rays of sunshine. Obviously, stop before you get burned, but don’t be afraid to feel that shine and let it in. When UVB rays hit human skin, they help produce Vitamin D3, which reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Those same UVB rays cause the skin to release beta-endorphins which promote natural pain relief and a sense of well-being. Sunlight also helps the body release nitrogen oxides, which opens up the arterial flow and has anti-inflammatory effects. Exposure to sunlight is also required to set our natural circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleep and wake cycles. For those of us who experience cold winters, the warmth of the sunshine is one of the most welcome feelings and one of the best ways to support our fire element. 

Activity

The energy of summer in Chinese medicine is considered very yang in nature. Fire is the element of extreme yang and has a radiating, dispersing power. Think of the lively dance of fire burning. This is the time to move, get our heart pumping and blood circulating. This is time for focusing on cardiovascular health! Summer makes this a much more inviting task with outdoor sports, swimming, hiking, or simply a walk on a warm summer night. And don’t forget to dance..never forget to dance.

 

black eyed Susan

The Beauty of the season

Taking care of the heart in Chinese Medicine includes making the spirit feel at home in the heart, and the Spirit craves beauty. Look at how the earth changes in summer. Flowers bloom, colors come alive, birds sing; there is art and music everywhere. This is a time for aesthetics, and we all have our own tastes. Get out and enjoy whatever stimulates your mind and heals your heart. Admire nature’s sunset paintings, smell the sweet perfume of the flowers, and let your spirit sing with the sounds of the season. Celebrate your own creative expression along with the energy of the season. 

Community

The sound that belongs to the heart, according to TCM, is laughter and the emotion is joy. It’s no wonder that joy feels best when shared. It’s also no wonder that researchers have found that the quality of family relationships and social connection is a strong factor in heart disease prevention.  So, as summer provides warm, inviting opportunities to get together, treasure your family and friends (and pets!), and find ways to connect, laugh, and share your joy!

So, what are you doing for your Heart energy this Summer?

If you haven’t had an acupuncture treatment this summer, there is still time to get one in before transitioning to Late Summer and Earth energy.  Give me a call today to book your next appointment. 603. 289. 1989

 

Amy O'Dell Wilson

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