The Energy of Spring and Summer
From a Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) perspective, we aren’t meant to keep the same schedule, pace, activity, or emotional focus throughout the entire year. Each season brings its own Qi and we shift, reevaluate, ebb and flow to align ourselves with the Qi of each season for health now and in the future.
Spring arrives with the lunar new year in February. At the beginning of spring, it’s up to our individual bodies how we shift from the internal, nourishing gentle rest of winter to the renewal, growth, movement, and flexibility of Spring. This time of year our energy is coming out of storage and rising up, and that might be reflected in old thought patterns, habits, or things we thought we worked through coming back to the surface. Because the emotion associated with this season is anger, we might feel particularly frustrated with this. It is a time for self compassion, practicing the shift from judgment to observing and witnessing.
Ideas we might consider or implement:
- Increase our physical and emotional flexibility-stretch, get massages.
- Focus on your eye health. Tribe members, check out an eye massage sequence on the Spirit / Soul Channel of TribeTV (Sign up for self-care membership for free!)
- Add in 3 categories of foods:
- Fresh greens
- Pungent foods- mint tea, radish, basil, onion, cilantro
- Sour foods- lemon, apple cider vinegar, grapefruit, pickle, sauerkraut
- Make sure our caffeine intake is still optimal. What may be useful during the winter can cause headaches, insomnia, or flares of anger during the spring.
- Use our scarves to protect from wind.
- Start developing good sleep hygiene.
- Take time to find and do what inspires you.
- Dedicate time to creativity.
- Experiment with what helps your body de-stress. Make it a priority to practice.
- It’s time to close out the intense shadow work you’ve been doing over the winter and start taking action as the most healed version of yourself you’ve created, up to this point.
Summer begins on the summer solstice.This is the season for outward expansion, movement and activity. It is a time for maturation, production and the start of abundance. Summer is a time of maturing the ideas that sprouted in Spring and manifesting. It is the time of peak vitality and passion.
Ideas we might consider/ implement:
- Cultivate yang. Soak up the sunshine, safely. Eat the abundant variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Find the balance between action and rest that allows us to avoid burnout.
- Shift our sleep schedule:
- Wake up earlier in the morning
- Go to bed later
- Rest or nap at midday.
- The emotion of this season is joy, take time to find and experience ours.
- Balance the fire element with water.
- Take advantage of the ample available energy to bring things to fruition.
- Feel the love- be social, practice self care, create the time and space to do the things you love.
- Eat lighter foods.
- Add the bitter flavor- bitter greens, dark chocolate, beer- in moderation because alcohol adds heat to our systems.
- Add cool and hydrating foods. (If you start to get a stomach ache or diarrhea, you may be eating too many cold foods):
- Green tea
- Be active, exercise, sweat.
- Summer is the best time to heal our hearts, addressing whatever keeps us from joy.
- Release grudges so our Qi can flow free.
- Go about our daily activities with the joy that comes because in Spring we dealt with our anger, the passion that is available because in Winter we did our shadow work, and the laughter that comes because last fall we released what no longer served us and we are comfortable in our own skin.
In TEAM there are 5 seasons, the 5th one being Late Summer which starts around the third week in August and goes until the Fall Equinox. Late Summer is considered to be the break in between the yang seasons of the year, (spring and summer), and the yin seasons of the year, (fall and winter). It is the time we rebalance, stabilize, and return to our center.
Ideas we might consider/ implement:
- Heal and nourish our digestive system by:
- eating at regular intervals throughout the day
- Chewing thoroughly
- Eating in low stress environments with minimal distractions.
- Avoiding iced drinks and cold/ raw food
- Continue eating from the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies grown in summer.
- Add in the sweet flavor, with care. Too much sweet can damage your digestive system. Full sweets take longer to break down, provide nutrients, and have fiber. Examples of full sweets include pumpkin, whole grains, root veggies, lentils, and meats.
- Cultivate emotional centeredness:
- Grounding exercises
- Checking for balance in all areas of life
- Find the rhythms and cycles that create simplicity
- Practice acceptance of where we are at in this moment
- Take time to “digest” our experiences from the year, so far, and sort through which ones were nourishing or something we could learn from, and which ones we can let go of.
- Be mindful of what we ingest- physically with food, and with the quality of the news or TV/ movies we watch, and what we read or listen to. Balance the negativity with the uplifting.
Written By Theira Smith, LAc, Tribe, professional member, who believes in collaborating together to heal your body, emotions, and spirit through Acupuncture + Shamanic Work