Summer- The Fire Element

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we see the seasons as being highly influential in our health. We believe it is essential to use the diet to balance the environmental elements that may create illness or disease.

Summer is traditionally a warm, energetic time of year. We tend to be busier, more outgoing in our lives and be exposed to warmer temperatures. It is a period of growth, excitement and lightness. However, there is a chance that we can become too energetic, warm and extroverted to where it can create and imbalance in our system. That can look like insomnia, scattered thoughts, speech problems, memory loss, anxiety, feeling over heated or experiencing hot flashes and acid reflux.

Both food choices and how we prepare them can help support us through this exciting season. To combat over heating, fatigue and dehydration and to encourage growth, TCM recommends increasing the following foods:

Brown Rice, Oats and Millet

Mushrooms, Cucumbers, Celery, Lettuce, Apples, Lemons, Limes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Berries, Avocados

Tofu, Tempeh, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Mung Beans

Dill, Basil, Cilantro, Chamomile, Lavender, Valarian

Examples: Include cucumber slices or strawberries in your water to give it an increased cooling effect.

(Remember, these are general guidelines and each person should take into account their own needs and ability to digest the foods listed here)*

Eating small amounts of these foods raw is beneficial (if your digestion tolerates it). Also, cooking for short periods over high heat or very lightly sautéing can keep the vegetables light and cooling. Use less salt and more water for sautéing. Keeping your cooking oils to a minimum will help maintain the light quality to the food as well.

Food is a powerful health tool and now is a great  time to re-evaluate what your body needs. Let IHD know if we can help!

*  To find out how you can personalize your plan with food, schedule an in person, online or phone consult so you can get the most benefit from your diet.

Preparing for Autumn

In the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we look at the change of seasons as a time to adjust our lifestyle and diet to support our body and mind through the next 3-4 months of the year. Autumn is seen as a time to reflect on what we need to let go of and prepare for a quieter, more introverted time. The Lungs and Large Intestine are the Chinese Medicine organs that are most active during this time. Therefore, we focus on for both organs during this transition. Common symptoms that people expereince during the fall season are:

  • Cough/Cold
  • Congestion
  • Depression/Grief/Melencholy
  • Constipation
  • Rashes or skin irritation
  • Sinus pressure
  • Fatigue

Keeping the Lungs strong and balanced allows us to let go of stagnant energy and emotions while allowing us to make room for new things in our lives. A great exercise for keeping the Lungs strong is Belly Breathing, also known as Diaphragmatic Breathing. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses food to create a balance in the body.  Dietary changes and foods to increase on a daily basis include:

  • Eating more cooked foods, less raw foods
  • Pears
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Miso
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Onions

A wonderful recipe for balancing the Lungs or treating a dry, chronic cough (often found during this time of year) is for Baked PearsEating half a pear, 2 times a day will nourish the Lungs and strengthen the immune system. 

Of course, acupuncture is a great way to keep your mind and body moving gracefully through every seasonal transition.  Schedule your Autumn tune up any time!

Be well!





New Location

Happy Summer Solstace!


We are thrilled to report that IHD is settled in our new spot in Edgewater. Our neighbors Titanium Fitness, Fitness Together, Integrity Wellness and Happy Leaf Kombucha have made us all feel very welcome. We are excited to have you visit us and continue to recieve great care at our new location. Call or email for your appointment and as always, you can schedule online. Have a wonderful start to a fun and healthy summer!

~ The IHD Team