May 5, 2021
The Start of Summer or Lì Xià (Chinese: 立夏 ) is the seventh of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the first of summer. Traditionally on this day, the Chinese Emperor would lead his courtiers to welcome the Summer Season, all dressed in red to symbolize hope for an auspicious harvest. This is the time of year when Yang-energy is at its fullest. The hexagram that represents this time of year is Qian Gua (乾卦) – six solid-Yang lines.
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Lì Xià (Start of Summer):
1. The focus of health cultivation during this seasonal period is on nourishing the Heart and calming the Shen/Mind (养心安神). Summer is associated with the fire element, and the heart is the fire organ. During this time of year, the flaring up of heart fire can present significant health problems. Refrain from emotional excesses, and do your best to maintain a calm and balanced state of mind. Contemplative Qigong practices and meditations are good ways to achieve a sense of tranquility. Try out different options and find the practices that work best for you.
2. Dress appropriately for the warmer weather and avoid overexertion. Drink plenty of clear fluids like water and herbal teas. Mint and chrysanthemum infusion/tea are perfect for gently and effectively clearing early summer heat.
3. Eat more of sour, bitter, and gently cooling foods. Sour food nourishes the heart by building fluid and blood, while bitter food helps to clear internal heat. Seasonal fruits and vegetables such as summer berries, tomatoes, pea greens, cucumbers, radishes are effective in providing some welcome relief from the warming weather.
4. To increase vitality and balance out the strain hot weather can put on the heart, good rest is very important. Take a nap and avoid overexertion. Take up some gentler activities such as painting/calligraphy, fishing, or gardening.
For more information on seasonal health cultivation, schedule an appointment with one of our student interns or licensed practitioners at the Yo San University Blount Community Clinic. Tele-health consultations are also offered by our experienced senior practitioners. Call today. 310.577.3006.