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Dec 10

Summer Lifestyle Advice from a Chinese Sage

Unfortunately, the Chinese sage is not I, but is the famous Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), an emperor who reigned in the middle of the third millenium BCE and wrote one of the most important classics of Taoism, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing), which gives a holistic picture of human life.

Chinese Medicine Summer

Regarding living in summer (scroll down for summary):
“In the three months of summer, there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge, there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result, plants mature and animals, flowers and fruit appear abundantly.

One may retire somewhat later at this time of year, while still arising early. One should refrain from anger and stay physically active, to prevent the pores from closing and the qi from stagnating. One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than in other seasons. Emotionally, it is important to be happy and easygoing and not hold grudges, so that the energy can flow freely and communicate between the external and the internal. In this way, illness may be averted in the fall. The season of fire and heart also encompasses late summer, which corresponds to the Earth element. Problems in the summer will cause injury to the heart and will manifest in autumn.”

In essence, to live accordance with nature in summer:

  • you can sleep later than usual whilst still waking early
  • avoid getting angry or hold grudges, and be happy and easygoing
  • stay physically active
  • you can have a bit more sex than usual, but be sure not to overindulge and deplete yourself

It’s not that summer-like in Melbourne just yet but keep some of these lifestyle tips in mind so illnesses and problems aren’t generated and passed through to autumn!

Sep 8

Spring to Life

Spring Blossoms

Spring is here – the bite in the air is gone, there is finally warmth you can actually bask in, the leaves are returning and the flowers are blooming. It is a season of birth and rejuvenation and in Chinese Medicine, for optimal health, it is best to live in accordance with these natural principles, both physically and emotionally.

Physically, wear loose comfortable clothing and exercise more often, much easier to do when the temperature is no longer in the single digits. It is also a good time to do more stretching to loosen up the tendons and muscles, and be supple like the new plant growth you see around you! Waking up early and going for a walk to take in this fresh invigorating energy and retiring early to allow your body to regenerate will see your body abound with energy.

Emotionally, equanimity is the goal. The Liver is the dominant Chinese Medicine organ in Spring, and becoming excessively angry, frustrated, depressed, sad or having an excess any other emotion, can damage the Liver. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in moments, both past and present, and react strongly but if you can be aware of this, take a step back and just appreciate the vibrant nature around you, the health, family and friends that you have, and perhaps you can realise that it’s not as bad as all that!

The energy of Spring is exciting and full of promise, so everyone please enjoy!