According to Chinese Medicine, we are now in LATE SUMMER, which is its own mini-season spanning from late August to early October. This is harvest time. Physically and spiritually, a time for nourishing, as well as celebrating the abundance of nature and in our lives.
Late Summer is associated with our digestive organs (Spleen and Stomach) and the emotions of worry, doubt and anxiety. Many of my patients experience anxiety & stress triggering GI issues like indigestion, IBS, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and headaches at this time.
With simple practices, we can use the energy of Late Summer to transform worry into stability, flow & trust in the Universe, even in the midst of change.
Let's dive into 7 ways we can nourish our body, mind & spirit right now to bring this healing energy into our lives:
1. ATTUNE YOUR EATING
Late Summer is associated with the EARTH element, which represents nourishment, stability and grounding.
We adjust our eating in Late Summer to harness this grounding energy for better digestion and to bring calm and mental clarity:
Reduce cold and raw foods, iced drinks, dairy and refined sugars. These tax the digestive organs and can lead to bloating, cramping, irregularity and sluggishness.
Eat simple, nourishing foods that are easily digestible such as whole grains, pureed soups, steamed vegetables and lightly sauteed greens. Root vegetables are especially grounding as they are grow in the Earth.
Late Summer is associated with the color yellow and the sweet flavor. Power foods for this time include sweet potatoes, squash, golden beets, ripe tomatoes, yellow onion, apples, pears, ginger, turmeric, chickpeas.
Eat in a relaxed environment with mindfulness, gratitude and enjoyment. This encourages digestion and nutrient absorption.
2. SOOTHE YOUR CENTER
If you tend to feel anxiety in your belly, try this guided visualization:
Lie on your back, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your heart.
Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice your body rise and fall under your hands.
Let the back of your body sink deeper into gravity with each breath.
Now envision your heart is a beautiful, safe space, and invite any anxious feelings from your belly into that space.
Surrender your worries into the comfort of the heart, and breathe here for several minutes.
Finally, imagine golden sun shine overhead. As you remove your hands, allow any lingering emotions to rise up into the rays of light and dissolve.
3. GET DIRTY
Making direct contact with the Earth is deeply grounding and nurturing. Studies show that by balancing our body’s electro-magnetic charge, "earthing" reduces inflammation and anxiety and improves sleep, energy and immunity. Here's an interesting article called "Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons"
The are so many ways to connect with the Earth:
Put your feet on the grass
Take a barefoot hike
Work in the garden
Have a picnic
Walk on the beach
Buy produce at a local organic farm
Visit a botanical gardens
Lay over a big boulder
Create a window potted herb garden
4. UPGRADE SELF-CARE
"Self care” can feel like just another thing on your to-do list. When you prioritize “self-connection” it becomes natural and effortless.
Here are some ways to nurture connection with yourself:
Take a quiet bath.
Spend the first 5-10 minutes of the day sitting outside or by a window to simply be and notice.
Wind down at night with a cup of tea, soothing music, and a good book or some journaling.
Take 2 or 3 deep breaths before eating.
Get an acupuncture treatment to deeply relax and connect with your mind, body and spirit.
5. ACKNOWLEDGE ABUNDANCE
In times of change, we can get stuck in worrying about the future and lose sight of what we have in the present. Whether it’s your health, home, family, friends, or career, pause to acknowledge and appreciate those things that once were seeds of hope and now are here!
Take nourishment from savoring simple pleasures, such as the cool morning air, a passing thunderstorm, the first bite into a crisp apple, or your child's laughter. When you shift focus from "what if's" to "what is", you send a message to your nervous system that everything is ok.
A powerful way to access abundance is to give - volunteer, cook your family a special meal, give your partner some extra love and attention, or just smile at a stranger - and see how much more at ease you feel.
6. SING YOUR WORRIES AWAY
Singing is a powerful remedy for worry, and is considered healing for the Spleen and Stomach. Like a mother’s comforting lullaby to her baby, singing is soothing to your own soul.
There's an interesting scientific explanation behind this: The voice box is connected to the vagus nerve, which affects an array of functions including swallowing, digestion and heart rate. Stimulating the vagus through singing slows our heart rate and puts our body in rest-and-digest mode. So sing in the car, the shower, while cooking dinner, or whenever!
7. GET SUPPORT
If you're experiencing anxiety, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems or any other health issues, I am here to help!
To make an appointment, call or text me at 646.389.6809
I would love to hear from you!
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