Thai medicine, like Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, seeks balance. The elements are constantly ebbing and flowing within us and around us, and by working with these elements we can keep ourselves balanced and healthy. As we enter the hot and dry season, excess fire can sometimes lead to some obvious (and not so obvious) symptoms of excess heat. These can include: thirst, dehydration, excessive sweating, muscle fatigue, inflammation, fever and rashes, insatiability, impatience, irritability, burn out, and more. Everyone tends to have more occurrences of excess fire in the summertime, but especially for those of us who already have a (ahem) more fiery disposition, bringing in some cooling and hydrating practices can help keep us balanced, chill and calm in this season.
A little bit of unrefined sea salt (which is full of essential minerals and electrolytes) in your water increases absorption and boosts hydration. But think outside the pink salt box! Pink Himalayan salt is great but can be more expensive, and there are so many beautiful and colorful salts to try. How much salt to add? Our bodies are great at detecting how much we need. Add just enough salt to your water to make it taste good, but not salty. Just try it for yourself - I promise you will know when you’ve reached that threshold!
Eat Cooling Fruits and Veggies
Enjoying seasonal produce is a great way to stay balanced, cool and hydrated. Think of how it feels to eat watermelon while out on a summer picnic. Or biting into that big, ripe, juicy peach on a hot afternoon. Sweet, watery fruits and vegetables are provided by nature at just the right time to keep you in balance. Visit your local farmer’s market and stock up on cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, watermelon, berries, peaches, and more. Cucumbers and watermelon also make a delicious addition to water and add a little sweetness to make the water even more hydrating!
Take a Dip
Spending time in water is the perfect antidote to the summer heat, and can literally help to cool your fire. Take a dip in the pool, jump in the lake or the ocean if you have the chance! If water sports aren’t your thing, then you can always enjoy a cool shower at home.
Fire makes us go, go, go. It is our drive, and the impetus for movement. The hotter it gets outside, calm you internal fire by taking time to relax and find ease. Think yin yoga rather than hot vinyasa. It’s not that you can’t work out in the heat of the summer, just notice how your body reacts to certain activities. And if you start to get burnt out or irritable, see how you feel taking a few things off of your plate and finding some still, quiet moments.
Above all, take some time to check in and listen to your body. Self care is not a luxury, it is an important part of enjoying your happiest and healthiest life.
Enjoy the summer sun!