It’s HOT!

Flame, a photo by geo3pea on Flickr.

102 degrees today…that’s HOT! (And not in the Paris Hilton sort of way.) What’s a person to do to try to lessen the effects of all this heat? TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) has some answers.
TCM observes that the health of the body is affected by the environment/conditions we find ourselves in. Most of us employ traditional Chinese medicine concepts without even realizing that we are doing so. If you’ve been to the office you’ve probably heard the example of health being like a see-saw. One see-saw of health is the balance between hot and cold. You need to have both in appropriate amounts in the right places and times for maintaining good, balanced health like a perfectly horizontal see-saw. For various reasons, too much cold or too much heat can accumulate in the body leading to an imbalance in health, or in other words, a tipped see-saw. People who live in colder climates will often have different health issues than people who live in warmer areas. If the see-saw is tipping too far over on the hot side, for example 102 degree days, employing cooling substances and techniques can bring that see-saw back into balance. What do you do when it’s a really cold day? Drink nice warm beverages and sit by a crackling fire- both actions being very therapeutic. What do we do when it’s 102 degrees? Some of us go for a swim. We say it’s “refreshing”. What we’re really doing is employing a cooler condition to offset the heat to bring the see-saw back to horizontal. Swimming is just one therapeutic “tool” for cooling off. Food is another. The following is a list of cooling foods. Make sure to eat with care and always do only what works best for you. Consider any allergens, high-sugar foods, and any other reason why a particular food might not be your best choice even if it does help cool things down. If you have any questions call the office.

Veggies- alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, bamboo shoots, beets, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, pumpkin, lettuce, spinach, watercress, zucchini

Fruits- apple, apricot, avocado, lemon, peach, persimmon, strawberry, tomato, mango

Seeds/Beans- tofu, mung bean

Meats- chicken eggs, clams and crab

Herbs- mint

Other- tea.

Now, besides what you eat, how you eat it will also affect a food’s cooling ability. Tea is cool by nature but you can increase it’s cooling nature by drinking it iced or decrease it’s cooling nature by drinking it hot.

The most important idea of all? Eat only foods appropriate for you and do everything in moderation. Experiment and have fun!

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