My father has always been a major influence in my life. He didn’t talk very much but when he did I knew it was important. I could tell that there was so much he wanted to say but maybe didn’t want to burden me with his experiences. I learned that during the cultural revolution in China, my father was imprisoned for being educated and outspoken.
As a child, my father would often have some concoction marinating in jars that lined the shelves in our home. He made tinctures, liniments, ointments and poultices, yet would never talk about these traditional practices.
What I did hear often from my parents growing up were statements such as “spicy food is good for feeling alive, but too much will give you ‘yeet hay’,” which translates to “hot air.” Yeet Hay is a condition that manifests in sweating, fever, acne, canker sores, sore throat, low energy, sluggish digestion or puffiness. They would tell me not to stand in front of the air-conditioner or fan too long, saying “you will catch ‘wind’,” which causes a blockage in the meridians resulting in issues such as neck pain, stiff shoulders or even a cold.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is woven into culture. It’s a philosophy in which balance is paramount to health. TCM teaches us how to coexist harmoniously with our external environment. There is no one size-fits-all solution, but rather an individualized approach based on each person’s constitution (physical body, health, strength, etc.) and environmental surroundings. As I began to explore TCM, and later became a trained practitioner, I realized the depth of knowledge and value of the teachings my parents shared with me as a child.
A healthy body lives in harmony with its environment. It is important to understand that, if we want to cultivate health and wellbeing for ourselves, our needs will be different depending on the season, and our emotional and physical states.
Summer is represented by the heart and small intestine meridians in TCM. That means that summer is the best time to nourish and strengthen the heart.
Summer has the most yang energy out of all the seasons, and therefore belongs to the fire element. Fire symbolizes the greatest amount of energy and activity. This is why we seem to have much more energy and require less sleep when the sun is out.
In TCM, our mind and spirit, also known as Shen, reside in the heart and are nourished by the blood. All are ruled by fire. During the summer, it is important to nourish the heart, as well as our yang energy.
Suka Lang is a Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver BC and the owner of Acupoint Wellness. She is one of those wellness practitioners that you wish you could bring everywhere with you. She is a born healer: intuitive, knowledgeable and strong. You feel instantly calmed in her presence. Her compassion, empathy and continual strive for excellence are what makes Acupoint Wellness a go-to place for acupuncture in downtown Vancouver.
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