This year’s Summer Solstice will fall on Friday June 21, 2013. It’s the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and officially marks the first day of summer. Summertime is nature’s season for growth and maturation; flowers are blossoming and the trees are lush. Not only are there changes happening with our surrounding environment, but also changes within our bodies. When we resist these changes into the different seasons, tension arises and illness can occur. Learning to flow with nature is a way to maintain balance within our bodies and our surroundings.
The Chinese Five Element Theory gives us a good awareness of the changes occurring in nature and in our bodies because different elements, or energies, are associated with different seasons. Summer is represented by the element of Fire. Its responsibility is to maintain heat in the body, and provide us with energy and vitality. The two main organs involved with the Fire element are the heart and the small intestine. The heart is the hard-working task masker of the body serving each cells needs. A guide to the general state of the heart’s health is the tongue, which should be moist and pink. If it is red, then fire or heat energy may be too strong, creating the inability to relax or slow down. If the tongue is pale, it may reflect weakness of the Fire element as possible anemia. A coated tongue relates more to diet and poor digestive functioning. The small intestine is the other Fire element. Proper functioning of the small intestine is imperative for our body’s nourishment, because the only nutrients we can use are the ones being digested and assimilated. If the small intestine is working properly, we absorb most of the nutrients we consume and wastes are transported to the large intestine to be excreted. The result? We feel good, energized and healthy. However, if there is a large amount of mucus in the body that coats the intestines, your body will receive little nutrients, making you feel lethargic or run down.
Summer is the season to strengthen your Fire element if it’s weak, with sunshine, exercise, good foods and good elimination. Proper nutrition is vital to keep the heart healthy and provide fuel and heat for the body. By eliminating refined or processed foods, sodas, and cutting down on animal fats especially red meats, dairy products, and sugar, most heart troubles can be overcome especially if you don’t wait too long. Feeding your body with mainly cool and light foods, such as lean protein, fish, fruits vegetables, lots of water, and some whole grains will keep your Fire balanced and your energy strong.
Source: Staying Healthy With the Seasons-Elson M. Haas