Stay Cool in the Summer with these Acupuncturist-Minded Tips

image by ShengGeng Lin via Unsplash

Some of us love the warm temperatures we get here in the East Bay, and some of us get a little (or a lot) uncomfortable when the weather report starts showing 80s and above. Many of our homes are not equipped for these temperatures, and we can’t sleep well at night. Then we become cranky and even further bothered by the heat! Some health conditions are aggravated in the warmer time of year, such as inflammatory conditions.

Here are some quick and easy tips to beat the heat:

  • Get Acupuncture: Have you been to our clinic on a hot day of summer? It’s a cool cave! In addition to treating your chief complaint, we can help with heat-clearing points and help you get some rest if your home is too warm at night to get a good sleep.
  • Herbs: It doesn’t have to be fancy. Dry or fresh Mint,Chamomile, and Chrysanthemum can be cooked in hot water and strained, then enjoyed warm or room temp. These herbs are cooling to the body.
  • Eat Leafy Greens: The more bitter, the better! The bitter taste is cooling and “drains heat”, according to Chinese Medicine.
  • Eat these, too! Here’s a list of foods to pick up at your next trip to the market:
    • cucumber (with the peel!)
    • melon
    • lemon
    • bamboo shoots
    • mung bean
    • water chestnut
    • banana
    • whole wheat
    • pork
    • asparagus
    • mushroom
    • summer squash
    • peach
    • berries
    • green tea
    • lentils
    • tofu
  • These spicy pungent foods induce sweating, which helps cool the body:
    • garlic
    • chili
    • radish
    • ginger
  • Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods, if you have health conditions that flare up when it gets warmer outside:
    • green tea
    • olive oil
    • avocado
    • nuts
    • turmeric
    • thyme
    • garlic
    • oregano
    • basil

Also of note: Heat can readily combine with extra Dampness in the body, which together can cause health problems such as UTIs, infections, digestive issues, and gynecological problems. Dairy can make Dampness worse, so if you think you are in this camp you may want to decrease consumption of cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream (waaahhhh!). Sugar too! It’s fun to have treats in the summer time, but keep this info in mind.

A word on ice: Sometimes we crave something REALLY COLD when it is hot out. It actually takes a lot of energy for the body to process that, and extra energy —> more heat. Sometimes people get a crampy stomach-ache after eating a cold treat or a bunch of cold beverages. It’s because it’s too much for the body to process, and the extra cold causes pain.

Above all, don’t forget to rest. Summer is a time when energy is high, the days are longer, and many of us are pressed to pack in activities and visits. Your body needs rest to be able to replenish itself and have systems run smoothly. Acupuncture helps! We hope to see you in our cool cave soon.

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