A: Every summer we get the same questions. Let’s talk about what is really going on and what you can do about it.
Can you believe this heat?? The heat and humidity this year is very intense. And it is constant. This is a big factor, because it means your body isn’t able to catch a break from the heat!
Some of the complaints we are getting daily right now:
- Hot flashes/flushes returning with a vengeance
- Increase in headaches
- Feelings of heaviness and lethargy
- Blood pressure not as easy to control
- Uncontrollable sweating
- Bright red blood with the menses
- Heavy bleeding
- Shorter cycles
- Longer days of bleeding
The hot weather is the reason! Especially if you are already internally ”hot”or ”humid.” The summer heat will compound that internal heat, causing you to feel miserable.
And then to make matters worse, this heat injures your body fluids and impairs the movement of your internal energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we call this dehydration Yin or Essence deficiency.
One of the many qualities of Essence/Yin is that it fuels the coolant system for your body. When the coolant gets low the heat gets even worse. Things get more stuck, more hot, more humid, and you’ll feel even worse.
You can’t change the weather, but you can learn how to take care of yourself during this harsh time and get some relief. You can also prepare your body during winter months so next summer the heat will not affect you as much!
The Chinese are very aware of the effects of weather on our health. In fact, they feel weather can be the trigger for many chronic health complaints, even certain diseases. Each season has its own challenges.
By the way, Western Medicine is not unaware of weather related health complaints. A recent study published by the American Academy of Neurology demonstrates that an increase of hot and humid weather patterns will result in an increase of headaches.
So what can you do right now?
- Protect your body fluid by hydrating! — Drink lots of water. Enjoy fruits with high water content, like berries and melons.
- Go to bed a little earlier.
- Release tension by doing the Radiant Eight Energy Exercises (maybe do them in the pool!) or even some gentle stretching. — Include side stretches, which allow your rib cage to massage your liver (Exercise #4 of the Radiant Eight Energy Exercises).
- Don’t forget to breathe! — When we are tense or stressed, sometimes we forget to breathe. This can lock the heat and tension in your body.
You can’t change the weather, but you CAN change the heat imbalance in your body.
Protect yourself from the heat with cooling foods!
- Drink Cooling Teas: Homemade celery/cucumber tea, Green tea, or Peppermint tea
- Make Asian Summer Tea: Goji Berries and Chrysanthemum flowers. This tea is consumed all over Asia in the hot summer months. You can find these ingredients at your local health food store or on Amazon.
- Make Peach & Pear Summer Soup! This is one of our all time favorite summer recipes. It is not a hot soup. You make it and sip a cup of it every day. You can take it cold from the fridge and then let it sit out just a little bit and sip it. It will be cool, but not cold, and the ingredients are so perfect for the hot.
Avoid Iced Drinks
It may sound counter intuitive, but it’s important not to drink too many cold drinks during summer. A full glass of an iced drink actually makes your body hotter inside because your body heats up, working to get warm enough to keep working. I don’t blame you for wanting something cold and refreshing! If you’re dying for that cold drink in this hot weather, I recommend you suck on ice chips or sip your iced drinks, rather than gulping them down quickly. Just be mindful.
Eating According to the Season
- More fruit with high water content (watermelon, berries, apples, etc.)
- More veggies with high water content (cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, etc.)
- Less fried foods
- Less sugar (this causes a lot of heat)
- More cooked foods
- More hot foods
- More root vegetables
If you practice this season to season, you will not be such a victim to intense weather patterns. If you are one of those sensitive to heat, do not be severe with yourself if you are suffering a lot right now. Know that you are still healing. Be dedicated to making next summer much easier by using some of these tips. Learn what you can do to help yourself.
Which tea works better for you? Can you feel even a little difference after you drink a cup? If you don’t spend so much time in the sun, is it better?
Test it out, see for yourself. Everybody is different. You know yourself better than anyone.
It is very, very important to support your body through the summer, since the heat really zaps your energy.
This can be such a problem because a lack of energy causes energy to get stuck in the body, which can cause inflammation (more heat).
You do NOT have to continue through life with all of these symptoms. You can ease the problem now, and you can make it disappear completely in the future.
I hope you enjoy yourselves this summer with family, friends, and lots of trips to the pool!