Summer Solstice 夏至 in 2023

June 21, 2023

As we enter the Summer Solstice period from June 21 to July 07, let's dive into the wisdom of TCM and explore how to thrive during this vibrant season.

Embracing the Heat and Sun

With temperatures soaring above 36°C in many areas this summer, it's essential to adapt and take care of ourselves during these scorching days. The sun reaches its highest point at noon during the Summer Solstice, causing our shadows to be at their shortest and the yang energy to be at its peak. This marks a pivotal shift in nature's energy, as the sun gradually begins its southward journey, giving way to the nurturing yin energy.

As the heat intensifies, it's crucial to ensure the health and vitality of our heart and brain while maintaining normal physiological functions. TCM emphasizes the importance of keeping a clear and harmonious spirit during summer. Just as plants thrive with the nourishment of sunlight, we, too, should cultivate an optimistic and extroverted character, which helps to promote the smooth flow of qi or life force energy within us.

Nurturing the Heart and Balancing Blood Pressure

During the summer season, cardiovascular diseases may be triggered less frequently than in winter. However, it is crucial to be mindful of the direct impact that extreme heat can have on blood pressure fluctuations. The combination of irritability caused by intense heat, excessive sweating leading to blood concentration, and constant exposure to cold and hot stimuli from air-conditioned rooms can raise blood pressure. In severe cases, this may even increase the risk of stroke or myocardial infarction.

To mitigate these risks, TCM recommends incorporating specific dietary adjustments during this time. As the body loses salt through excessive sweating, it is advisable to consume more sour foods to consolidate the exterior and balance this loss. Additionally, incorporating salty foods can help nourish the heart. As the ancient TCM text "Su Wen • Zang Qi Fa Shi Lun" states: "The heart governs summer. If the heart is too relaxed, eat sour food to contract it. If the heart is weak, eat salty food to strengthen it, use salt to nourish it, and sweet to drain it."

"The heart governs summer. If the heart is too relaxed, eat sour food to contract it. If the heart is weak, eat salty food to strengthen it, use salt to nourish it, and sweet to drain it."
Su Wen • Zang Qi Fa Shi Lun

By invigorating our hearts and maintaining healthy blood pressure, we can ensure a well-balanced and joyful summer.

As we embrace the Summer Solstice, let's explore how TCM aligns with the natural cycles of this season and discover how we can harmonize our bodies and minds during this transformative time. Stay tuned for more exciting insights on navigating the world of TCM and unlocking the secrets to a healthier, balanced life.

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