Here are some Acupressure points you can use on your own to fight the summer heat…Making some small changes to find a little more balance within the elements in your body can go a long way. You will start to notice the harmony, and it can lead you to a healthier and happier life.
The 5 Elements
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we use a healing method called the 5 Elements. This theory divides our energy or “Qi” into five qualities that are structured around natural elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. The idea is to make sure there is no disharmony between our Qi and the elements. In the cycle of the seasons, fire corresponds to summer. The fire phase is a stage of peak power. We see it everywhere as summer flowers come out from buds, and every plant and leaf comes fully into being. The fire element also represents aspects of the sun, flames, warmth, and light. Fire is also active, alive, vital, lively, vibrant, moving, dynamic, and full of spark. This element is about being focused and being in the now. In Chinese Medicine, the fire element is the spark from which all life derives.
Each element is also associated with an emotion, an organ, and a color.
For the summer fire, that emotion is joy, the main organ is the heart, and the color is red. It reflects the potential for happiness, brightness, and activity. All are crucial in maintaining our Heart fire, the ruler of our spirit. In the summer heat, we will find growth both in nature and in our own lives.
Living in harmony with the seasons is the core of traditional Chinese medicine, based on living in unison with nature and one’s environment.
Here are some simple steps you can take to honor the wonderful season of summer, nourish your Chinese heart and keep your fire element in balance:
Spend time outside, we have been waiting all winter for this, so go outside and enjoy!
Find ways to bring more joy into your life. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget about ourselves and what is important to us. So be sure to do things that you enjoy and bring you joy. You will not only be having fun but will be nourishing your emotional heart.
Eat foods that are in season now, asparagus, cucumbers, melons, lettuce, are some examples of cooling foods that will help your fire maintain balance. Red is the color associated with the fire element, so go for tomatoes, red peppers, maybe a little red wine.
Enjoy your meals. Foods that are prepared with love, foods you love to eat and eating while gathered with friends and family will nourish your hearts, bring you joy, and keep your fire element in check.
Stay cool by drinking lots of water to keep yourself hydrated, add some cucumber or mint leaves for an extra cooling boost.
Exercise! Get a vigorous cardiovascular workout going. The fire element rules the heart, and a healthy heart needs regular exercise to keep the circulatory systems in good shape.
Get acupuncture and/or massage. In Chinese medicine, we have specific points that we use to clear any excess fire in our bodies and keep your heart and emotions aligned.
Here are some Acupressure points you can use on your own to fight the summer heat:
(PC 3) Located at the inner elbow next to the large tendon on the inside of the body. This point is especially useful for sunstroke and can be used for skin eruptions or anxiety caused by heat.
Large Intestine 11
(LI 11) This point is located on the outer end of the elbow crease. This point is excellent for removing any excess heat from your body and or skin.
(HT 8) Located at the palm between the pinky and ring finger, when you make a fist it is where the pinky finger rests. Press on this point if the summer heat is causing excess thirst, restlessness, or insomnia.
Making some small changes to find a little more balance within the elements in your body can go a long way. You will start to notice the harmony, and it can lead you to a healthier and happier life.
About the Author
Maria Hogan is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist. She graduated with a Masters Degree in acupuncture from the New York College of Health Professions, where she currently is a Professor and Supervisor to students in the Massage Clinic.
Maria is passionate about sharing the healing benefits of Chinese Medicine. Believing the body should be treated as a whole, she uses many modalities to treat various conditions.