It was Beginning of Summer (7th solar term) at May 5 which means the summer begins officially. Everyone can’t wait for the vacations. To keep in good health in the summer and enjoy your vacation either at the beach or in the mountain, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been providing variety of approaches for thousands of years.
Protecting the Yang of the body is the first recommendation from Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine), the oldest and most important classical book of TCM. From early spring, the Yang essence is rising and spreading to the upper part and surface of the body. It is the main reason why we feel more energetic and alert in the spring and summer than in the winter. We will get sweaty more often not only because the hot weather but the Yang is more superficial than in the winter. A moderate sweating is good for the health since the sweat will release the toxin as well as the negative emotion. However excessive sweating could be harmful because the body would lose too much Yang essence together with the sweat especially to the people who have chronic conditions. Staying in the air-conditioned room or abusing icy drinks or ice cream to prevent sweating all the time isn’t good either for the health or for the earth. Since the pores are open in the summer, it is very easy to be influenced by pathogenic factors like coldness with dampness if staying in the office too cold.
Summer is a perfect season to reinforce the immune system to deal with some disorders like allergy and chronic respiratory diseases. There is a treatment rule in TCM that “treating winter diseases in summer”. Quite some chronic conditions in the winter are because of the deficiency of Yang essence. Protecting the Yang in the summer ahead by either life style adjustment or acupuncture and herb supplement has been acting as an effective prevention approach in China for hundreds of years.