Traditional Chinese Medicine: What’s the Meaning of Summer?

Acupuncturist in Cork
Traditional Chinese Medicine & Chinese Acupuncture practitioner, Joao Rosa, writes about the symbology and meaning of Summer within Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncturist in Cork

Summer is here! Everything that was prepared in spring has its heyday this season, by definition the height of Yang.

In terms of Chinese Medicine, Summer is Fire. Heart and its coupled hollow organ, the Small Intestine, also belong to this element.

Each element has an associated emotion. In the case of Fire, this emotion is joy. Joy allows us to see the positive side of things, but energy is in constant motion and sometimes the heart is not in balance. Then we can have times when joy does not exist or exists too much, which can result in panic attacks, anxiety, mania…

We also say that it is the heart that houses the mind (the Shen). Just as in the West we say that we “know things by heart”.

This Shen is much more than just faculties of reasoning, it also encompasses the emotional part. For example: in addition to helping us to develop a good speech, it helps us to realize not only what people are telling us but also with what intention this is being told, this possibility to read between the lines.

All the organs contribute to forming the Shen, taking into account our emotional state it is also possible to know which organ is more “affected”.

Shen is also involved in our quality of sleep. Whenever there are issues related to our emotional part we always think that our Heart may be affected in energetic terms. In an almost instinctive way we in the West “blame” the Heart when something is not well emotionally. A loving heartbreak “breaks our heart”!

So it is necessary to “feed” the Heart correctly and keep the Fire in the balance! We have to keep in mind that everything we do needs to have an account, weight and measure!
It’s no accident that everything is more beautiful “out there” during Summer. If it’s nice, we have to go and have a look! Then it is time for us to live more outside and contemplate this explosion of nature! The song of birds, the colours and smells of flowers, the softness of the breeze, the flavours of fruits and vegetables… We must remember not to get too much sun, but we must not forget that the sun is a source of life!

We must always choose the food of the season, and in the summer we have cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, mung beans, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, melon, watermelon, peaches, oranges, lemons. This is a time when we must control the heat, since the Heart belongs to the Fire and it must be controlled. However do not forget that each person is a different person, and not everything is ok for everyone. When it comes to food it all depends on the overall energetic state of each individual!

In short, watch the summer, enjoy the outdoors, do what brings you joy, eat well (does not mean to eat much), wake up early, take a little afternoon nap, practice some exercise and breathe through the abdomen.

Have a great summer!


To learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine, please visit Joao’s profile page.

Share this post: