The Three Months of Summer

The Summer Solstice marks the ‘longest day of the year,’ which really means the day with the most sunshine… why is this important? In Chinese Medicine, we follow the movement of the seasons and strive for harmony with nature. When we look at the relationship between yin and yang, easily represented in night and day, darkness and light, we see the summer solstice as the highest yang, which means it is appropriate to be more ‘yang,’ more active at this time, but also keep in mind not to over-do it – this is how we stay healthy.

The three months of Summer
Are called prospering and developing the flower.
The qi of Heaven and Earth intertwine,
The 10,000 beings flower and bring forth fruit.
– Su Wen, ch. 2

Often called the ‘beginning of summer,’ it truly is the peak of summer, from a solar perspective. From an Earth perspective,IMG_5143 a climatic perspective, of course we can say that the height of summer comes later, but from an energetic perspective, we are peaking in the yang. From now, until December 21st, yang is declining and Earth is cycling back towards darkness – waning daylight from now until the winter solstice.

Summer is an ‘easier’ movement for New Yorkers because it corresponds to the yang – the activity. Life is dominated by activity and this is the season for it. We feel an almost unlimited supply of energy and a quick ability to recover if we stay out late and have to be up an at it early in the morning. This is no surprise. More than two thousand years ago, we were taught,

At night, one goes to bed, at dawn one gets up.
One does not let oneself be overcome by the sun,
Exerting the will, but without violence,
Assisting the brilliance of beauty and strength

Stay up a little later, rise a little earlier. Sweat in your activity. This is the season to move quickly and spread widely. Play. Laugh. So, have fun, but not too much… everything must be kept in balance.

This corresponds
With the Summer qi
It is the way
That maintains the growth of life.

We wish you a happy and radiant summer solstice, and a healthy summer! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

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