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Warm weather, shorts and skirts, drinks on the patio; summer is approaching fast. It is a very active time of year, a very Yang time of year we say in TCM. Summer and Yang energy relate to the Fire element, and its organs the Heart (pericardium), and Small Intestine. Its color is red, its emotion is joy, its sound is laughter, and its flavor is bitter.

As much as we here in Alberta love the summer heat, especially after a long cold winter, we have to be careful that we don’t get too warm that we exhaust our Yang energy. Think heat stroke; too much yang, and it collapses in on itself and gives in to Yin. Basically, long periods of Yang activity, will eventually require Yin resting periods to restore balance.

Having said this, Summer is meant to be a time of greater activity. With the sun shining and the heat, our mood improves and our bodies feel looser and more flexible. Its a time to have fun and enjoy life. Go out to a festival, enjoy good food, do whatever it is that makes your Heart sing. When your Heart is happy, the rest of you is happy. Aches and pains tend to alleviate, and any emotional blockages become a little freer too.

What are some imbalances of too much heat though? Heat in excess can cause inflammation in many forms. It can be something like getting a sunburn, it can be sore and swollen joints, it can disguise itself as digestive issues like diarrhea, or it could be something worse like heat stroke. Maybe its an issue with insomnia that bothers you when the decimals rise. Whatever imbalance may start to arise, there are ways to keep cool.

Diet has always been a favorite tool for me. Remember, food is MEDICINE! Now, as much as ice cream or slurpies, seem like the obvious choice to cool off, they actually create an interesting paradigm. Even though temperature wise is cold, their nature is that of both hot and cold. Due to their high sugar content, they will actually put your metabolism into overdrive, raising your core temperature in the long run. Everything in moderation of course. I always like to go for my Peanut Buster Parfaits from DQ. A simple solution is adequate water intake; or lemonade. Ades are thirst quenchers, its in the name. Fresh fruits and veggies are always good to have, chiefly ones that are high in water content, like: watermelon, cucumber, celery, plums, oranges, zucchini, tomatoes, etc.Keep your cuisine colorful and vibrant with different colored fruits and vegetables.

Other tips include wearing light clothes. Need to be office chic, then opt for lighter fabrics like linen or linen- blends. Have a fan nearby to beat the heat. At night, keep your room cool, a lower body temperature will help with a good sleep. Take a swim, be around water. Water is the opposite element of fire, so it makes sense to use it to beat the heat.

If all else fails, seek out an Acupuncturist. We can help scope out whatever imbalance may be present and correct it.


Honey Lemonade:

8 cups water

1 cup honey

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

lemon wedges

Boil 4 cups of water and stir in the honey to blend. In the meantime, squeeze the lemons to get the juice and add to 4 cups cool water. Let the honey water cool and add to the lemon water. Refrigerate to keep cold.

For an extra twist, you can make cucumber, honey lemonade by blending some cucumber with your mixture, for a sweet and cooling summer refreshment.

Summer Salsa w/ Mango

Bell peppers of all colors



Jalepeno or habenero pepper

Red onion


Silver tequila


Dice all ingredients finely or use a food blender; add 1-2 oz of silver tequila as a preservative, and for some unexpected flavor. Sprinkle with salt and add some finely chopped cilantro. Enjoy with your favorite nachos.

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