Summer and Acupuncture in the City
Welcome back to summer in Portland! Finally, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and you can bike to work without wearing your Showers Pass jacket and getting your pant legs soaked! The RiverWest practitioners are here to help you enjoy summer and acupuncture so you can be your best and receive some much-needed preventive medicine!
It is so beautiful outside, why would anyone want to go inside to get an Acupuncture Treatment and lay on a wonderfully relaxing heated bed? Well, if you have a tendency to get sick with coughs, colds, or bronchitis in the wintertime, you would! Or, do you know any go-go-go person who needs a break/a nap/ some R & R without needing to leave the city? Well, invite them too! Come in, say hi, have a cup of tea, sit down, and give yourself the rest and relaxation you deserve from practitioners who truly care.
Summer is the heat season and fire element. Heat can get trapped in the body and we can overheat, just like a car. Any latent leftover heat that stays in the body will come out towards the end of winter. Subsequently it wreck’s havoc on the lungs. In turn, it causes illnesses like “the cough” that many people experienced this past winter season. We generally fill summer with back-to-back weekend plans, BBQs and cold drinks, double-scooped delicious ice-cream cones, and late night parties. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, summer is really a time to relax, unwind, and cool the body down. We would not put our most precious puppy in the blazing sun, deprive it of water, and expect it to run laps around the yard, would we? No!! So why do humans over-do it? Take a cue from your practitioner- it is ok to relax this summer.
4 Signs of Summer Heat
When we mix the summer environment with the food and lifestyle that generally go along with it, people can get something called summer heat. There are four signs of summer heat:
- bigger than normal thirst
- big fever
- a lot of sweat
Bai Hu Tang is a great formula during this time in the illness. It stops thirst and clears heat. If this heat mixes with humid dampness from outside or from eating cold damp foods like ice cream or cold drinks (cold/ice water, soda or beer) one may experience heavy-headedness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension, diarrhea, and heat stroke. There is another formula called Ge Gen Qin Lian Tang that works during this timeframe.
As you can see, pattern differentiation is very important in Chinese Medicine – practitioners do not just give one herb to everyone all the time as people get sick in a different manner due to our environment and what we are eating and experiencing emotionally in life. The illnesses we see in the summer are not the same ones we see in the winter. Leaving a pathogen in the body all season will have it come out in a later season, often more powerfully.
Add a little R & R into your plans this summer. Your body will thank you and your immune system will be healthier and happier come fall and winter. While you’re at it, incorporate naturally cooling foods like watermelon, cucumber, lemon, apple, papaya, cantaloupe, pineapple, summer squash, zucchini, or bitter melon to your plates. Drink some mung bean tea and don’t forget to keep your water at room temperature. If you do feel yourself getting over-heated drink watermelon or radish juice and come in for a treatment.
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