Many people look forward to warm summer months, with plans to enjoy the sunshine and outdoor activities. However, for some, the summer heat can also bring feelings of sluggishness and low energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of balance between Yin and Yang plays a crucial role in understanding our body’s energy dynamics.
Yang represents warmth, activity, and movement, while Yin represents coolness, stillness, and rest. As Yang energy reaches its peak, nature is thriving and plants grow rapidly. The long days and shorter nights provide more opportunities for social engagements.
Similarly, within the human body, Yang energy is at its maximum during the summer months. This means that our metabolic processes, circulation, and overall activity level are heightened. It is a time of vibrancy, enthusiasm, and expansion. Emotions are generally more exuberant and upbeat during this season.
In this blog we will explore how to maximize Yang energy, and 10 tips for boosting your energy this summer.
Why Do People Feel Low on Energy During Summer According to TCM?
If summer is a season of such vibrancy and energy, why do people often end up feeling fatigued?
Excessive exposure to external heat during summer can lead to imbalances in our internal Fire element, which in TCM corresponds with the heart and small intestine. An imbalance fire element can lead to symptoms like restlessness, irritability, and insomnia. Additionally, the summer heat can increase perspiration and lead to dehydration, impacting the body’s Yin fluids and resulting in feelings of fatigue.
Some people may have a tendency towards overindulgence in rich, greasy, and spicy foods, which can burden the digestive system, leading to stagnation and dampness. These imbalances can further deplete our body’s energy reserves, contributing to feelings of lethargy and low vitality.
How to Increase Your Energy in the Hot Summer Months
While the Yang energy of summer is vibrant and exciting, maintaining the balance of Yin and Yang is crucial. Excessive Yang energy can lead to issues like overheating, dehydration, and restlessness. TCM emphasizes the need to harmonize with the natural cycles, so during the summer, people are advised to engage in activities and habits that help to disperse heat, stay properly hydrated, and maintain balance.
1. Stay Hydrated with Proper Drinks
In TCM, hydration is essential for maintaining the balance of Yin and Yang. During the summer, our bodies lose more fluids due to heat and sweating. To counterbalance this loss, consume cooling and hydrating beverages such as chrysanthemum tea, watermelon juice, or cucumber-infused water. Dejia Harmony’s Aqua Herbal Wellness Water is an ideal summer drink, combining cooling and rejuvenating herbs that offer immune support, respiratory support, enhanced energy and support cognitive function.
2. Embrace Seasonal Foods
Incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet can help support your body’s natural energy flow. Reach for foods with cooling properties like watermelon, cucumber, leafy greens, and mint. These foods not only provide essential nutrients but also help to disperse heat and prevent overheating.
3. Eat Light and Balanced Meals:
Heavy and greasy foods can burden the digestive system, leading to a feeling of lethargy. Instead, follow TCM principles by consuming lighter, easily digestible meals. Choose steamed or stir-fried dishes over deep-fried options. Balancing your meals with a variety of vegetables, proteins, and whole grains will promote energy circulation and prevent stagnation.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
In TCM, how you eat is as important as what you eat. Take time to enjoy your meals, chew your food thoroughly, and avoid rushing. This practice enhances the digestive process, allowing your body to extract the maximum nourishment from the food you consume. Mindful eating also allows you to connect with the energy that your food is providing.
5. Engage in Morning Exercise or Activity
Early morning is considered the time of maximum Yang energy in TCM. Embrace this natural boost by engaging in gentle exercises like Tai Chi or Qigong. These ancient practices help to balance the body’s energy, improve circulation, and prepare you for the day ahead.
6. Protect Yourself from the Sun
While some sunshine is beneficial, excessive exposure to the sun can lead to overheating and deplete your body’s energy. In TCM, the head is considered to be particularly vulnerable to heat. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, use an umbrella, or spend time in shaded areas to shield yourself from direct sunlight. This will help prevent the dissipation of vital Qi and keep your body cool.
7. Take Refreshing Foot Baths
In TCM, the feet are considered the starting point of several meridians, or energy channels, in the body. Cooling down the feet can help disperse heat and improve overall energy flow. Treat yourself to a refreshing foot bath with cold water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil to invigorate and energize your entire system.
8. Try Cooling Acupressure
Stimulating specific acupressure points can help balance the body’s energy and boost vitality. For example, the point located between the thumb and index finger is believed to clear heat and revitalize the body. Gently apply pressure to this point in a circular motion for a few minutes each day.
9. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Adequate and regular sleep is crucial for restoring the body’s energy. During the summer, it can be tempting to stay up late due to longer daylight hours. However, try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, as TCM emphasizes the importance of aligning our habits with the natural rhythms of the day.
10. Embrace Relaxation Techniques
Stress and anxiety can disrupt the body’s energy flow, leading to feelings of fatigue. Incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature to calm your mind and promote a sense of inner peace.
Enjoy Your Summer With TCM
By understanding the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can make informed choices to boost your energy during the summer months. Staying hydrated, eating cooling foods, and engaging in gentle exercises are some of the key practices to maintain balance in your Yin and Yang energies. By embracing these TCM-related tips, you can maximize your energy, vitality, and enjoyment of the summer season.