Unveiling the harmony: Theory of the 5 elements in Yoga:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Theory of the 5 Elements is a guiding principle that orchestrates the delicate dance of Qi energy within our bodies. Join us as we explore the essence of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood and discover how aligning with these elements can bring balance and vitality to your life. Join acupuncturist and Yoga practitioner Ange Gervan as she shares her insights to make the most of this vibrant time.
Embracing the Fiery Spirit of Summer ☀️🌿
Summer, the embodiment of the Fire element, symbolizes joy and expansiveness. Learn how to harmonise with this energetic season through acupuncture, herbs, diet therapy, and energising movement practices like Qi Gong and Yoga.
Digestion can easily be compromised during summer. While we might already know that overeating heavy foods can tax the digestive system, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (the theory that guides acupuncture) also advise that eating too much cold food stresses the digestive system. How do we find the balance and align to this season? "Cold foods" are not just those foods cold in temperature, such as ice cold water or food from the fridge, but also those that are cold in nature like, dairy and some vegetables, fruit and sweet food. Sugar is cold in nature. You can balance raw vegetables and summer salads with cooked vegetables - add some warm roast sweet potato to your plate- and reduce the amount of protein in summer compared to that in winter. Also, consider soups as not just a winter food! Soups made with seasonal green vegetables as a summer soup can be really refreshing and a nice way to end the day when your appetite might not be so great with the heat.
Nourishing Your Digestive Fire 🔥🥗
We do all enjoy cooler foods though in summer so perhaps consider the time of day that you are consuming them. First thing in the morning is best to start with something the same temperature or warmer than your stomach, so you could try saving the cool smoothies and juices until noon or late afternoon. If you are making juices, add some fresh ginger as a healing agent and consume at room temperature. Ginger is warm in nature and great for your digestive system. Foods from the fridge and ice-cold drinks can put out our digestive fire - room temperature is best. In tropical climates, people often drink hot tea which helps to maintain the digestive fire. In Japan during summer barley tea is commonly consumed; this brown tea is cooling in nature and sipped warm to perfectly balance the system. Protecting your digestive system over summer is said to avoid the late summer/early autumn bouts of gastro in TCM theory. If you are craving ice cold drinks and foods, this is an indication that your system is expressing too much heat - how is your skin colour? Your menstrual colour? Is it tending towards brighter red? Red rings around the eyes, trouble getting to sleep at night, dry skin - these are a few common signs in TCM that your body is internally expressing too much heat (an imbalance in the Fire element in TCM).
Hydration Magic: Lemon, Mint, and Water 💦🍋
Water - consuming plenty of good quality water in summer is especially important. Lemon and mint in water is really refreshing and will keep summer colds away. Lemon is good to move energy in the system and mint is cooling in nature and is said to draw heat out of the body encouraging rashes to release.
Dive Smart: Menstrual Time & Swimming 🩱🌊
Swimming of course is great and fun in summer, but to maintain balance, ideally women need to be conscious of their body state at swimming time. If it's your menstrual time or post birth, stay out of cool swimming water - cold energy can enter your body more easily at this time and lodge in your system (a healing counterbalance you can offer yourself: moving into warm dry clothing soon after, drinking warm tea, adding a warm compress to your navel and back). Note, dark bleeding at your menses time, lower back pain, and cramping are often an indication of cold lodged in our system - not a good feeling for your body and especially not good if you want to get pregnant!).
Winter Wellness: A Reflection of Summer Nourishment ❄️🍵
Often our winter health is a reflection of the summer before in TCM terms so really enjoy and utilize the vibrant energy of summer to stock up on warmth and boost your immune system! Taking good care of yourself during summer will boost your immune system for the months to come. If your last winter was a challenging health time for you, think back to your summer - did you take time to rest, eat well, take in the warmth and enjoy nature at that time?
Bask in the Summer Glow: Boost Your Immune System 🌞🌿
Celebrate the season of sun and surf with a commitment to self-care. Learn how taking good care of yourself during summer can be a powerful boost to your immune system, setting the stage for a robust and vibrant year ahead. Embrace the warmth, savor the flavors, and let the energy of summer elevate your well-being.
Enjoy the journey to radiant health and happiness this summer! 🌺🌟