Living with Summer

Summer can be the most frustrating of times for those suffering from MS. Summer is a time for our bodies to naturally want to go outside and play. But summer is the warm time of the year which can put a kanosh on any outdoor activities planned.

Here is a bit about summer and seasons with regards to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

Living with the Seasons - Summer


By Emma Suttie, D.Ac.

There are 5 seasons in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), corresponding to the 5 elements (Fire/Earth/Metal/Water/Wood). Winter, Spring, Summer, Late Summer and Fall.

Summer represents the outward expression of energy, expansiveness, movement, and activity. It is the most yang of the seasons and is ruled by fire. Life and energies are at their peak. Summer, according to TCM, is the season associated with the heart and the small intestine. The colour is red, the emotion joy, and it is a time for growth, expansion, light, abundance, and is the manifestation of all we have been cultivating throughout the spring.

Many look forward to summer all year round. The weather is hot and the sun is out, improving people’s moods. Many are drawn outdoors to participate in all the activities they have been longing for all winter. Plants grow quickly, people are full of energy, and the body’s qi and vitality are at their peak. It is a time to cultivate the yang energy (fire), while making sure that it does not come to excess. In TCM, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element, so priority should be given to these important aspects of ourselves in the summer season...

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Here are some tips to help you make the most of the summer season:

Drink plenty of water and other fluids

Wake up earlier in the morning

Go to bed later in the evening

Rest at midday

Add pungent flavors to your diet

Refrain from anger; keep calm and even-tempered (anger causes and exacerbates heat!).

Here is a list of foods that are beneficial to eat in the summer months:














Bok choy


White mushroom

Snow peas


Summer squash



Mung beans




Bitter gourd

Mung beans

Wax gourd

Lotus root

Lotus seed

Job’s tears

Bean Sprouts

Duck Fish

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About the Author:

Emma’s love for Chinese Medicine began as a teenager when, like many people, western medicine failed to solve the underlying health issues she faced. Her doctors proposed only surgery or a lifetime of drugs. However, after a few months of acupuncture treatments and herbs those problems were resolved. From that moment forward she was committed to extending this gift of health to others.

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What are your favorite summer foods?


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