Everything starts back up in spring. Leaves appear back on the trees, flowers start to peep out of the ground and come back into bloom. Animals wake up and come out of hibernation.
However for the human being, although it is a welcome time, with the sun and its energy returning; and all that has been stored and gathered over winter now being put to good use to rejuvenate the body, it can also be a very changeable and therefore dangerous time.
The body and mind can be tricked into believing too soon that the warm weather has returned. Because of this we turn the heating down and change our heavier, warmer clothes for lighter ones. Only to have the weather sharply swing back to the cold a week later, leaving many of us caught short and exposed to the climate. This can obviously weaken us and quite often causes problems like common colds.
It is again easy to avoid. Just be aware of it and keep extra clothes on you or within easy reach if the weather turns bad. You can leave such items like jumpers or hoodies in your car or at your desk at work...
At the beginning of summer, everything is lustrous, alive and in full swing. The rays of the sun have fed the earth, energizing it, bringing forth life in all its full glory.
Then towards the end of summer, the earth may start to become dried up. Unable to keep up with all the demands of the moving and active energy; plants may become starved of nutrients and water, and begin to wither.
Or if there has been an abundance of rainfall, the heat and damp may combine. This humid weather can bring an infestation of bugs and bacteria. All the processes of decay will speed up. Living things will become swamped by the fluid and heat, leaving them to rot and putrefy, providing feeding material for the bugs.
In the body all that damp and heat can lead to prime conditions for food poisoning and stomach bugs; or to digestive and general problems relating to heat and toxins. Symptoms such as smelly urine, odorous and urgent bowel movements, inflamed painful swellings and skin eruptions, toenail infections, body and foot odours and bad breath.
All that phlegm and heat may congest and disrupt the organs and mind too, leading to anxiety, poor sleep and many other problems too.
If you begin to suffer from damp and heat conditions and cannot see a doctor then food is the best way to treat them.
Avoid fats, rich foods and sticky sugars. Avoid heat producing foods like coffee, spices and alcohol.
Instead take in plenty of bitter fruit and juices like pomegranate, grapes and berries. Take lots of green and peppermint tea too. These detoxing foods may make your bowel movements more odorous at first, as they use it as an exit to purge and clean your system. But stick with them and you will find yourself feeling much fresher and better after a while.
You should find that your energy levels perk up too. As all that congested heat and damp wasn’t just blocking you up but had also been draining your energy away, as your organs had to work much harder to push everything through them.
The heavy feeling from the excess of damp fluids gathered in your body will also disappear, leaving you feeling lighter, with lots of get up and go.
Summer heat can cause other problems too. The heat can expand blood causing feelings of bloatedness and pressure; and also speed things up too much as well. This can lead to headaches, poor and restless sleep, red face, irritability, anger, anxiety, loss of rational thinking and clear headedness, general uneasiness and feelings of discomfort, rashes, bleeding gums, bad breath and toothache. In extremes it can also lead to delirium, fever and haemorrhage. Again to counter this, we need to avoid hot and phlegm filled foods. And add in lots of cooling bitter juices, green tea and vegetables.
If heat combines with dryness, it can quickly deplete your fluids and blood. This can lead to symptoms such as dry skin, constipation, tiredness and shortness of breath. In extremes it can cause exhaustion, fainting and delirium. Lots of cooling and moistening foods and fluids are needed here. Particularly ones like mango, orange juice, coconut, apple and banana. These will rebuild fluids and nutrients. Obviously, in this situation, also drink plenty of water to quickly build fluids and raise blood levels. Once your condition has been stabilized, add in salty and oily foods, which will also help to lock in moisture and nutrients.
Over exposure of sun can of course lead to getting burnt and even skin cancer. It also causes wrinkles and can speed up aging of your skin, making you look old before your time.
However too little sun is just as bad in other ways, so make sure you do get some sun exposure.
Too many people these days stay indoors watching tv or playing computer games or are stuck behind an office desk, so try at least to get out into it for a short time each day.
The sun revitalizes, heats and powers up our bodies and everything in them. It is a source of pure energy. Just as its power can be caught these days in solar panels, our bodies too can recharge our own internal energetic batteries from it.
In Western terms, the sun’s power is stored within us through Vitamin D. According to Western researchers we need only expose our faces and uncovered arms for about ten to fifteen minutes, four to five times a week, to start to create and store plenty of Vitamin D from the sun. You can get Vitamin D through some foods, such as liver, oily fish, eggs and sun dried mushrooms. But these doses are relatively small in comparison to what the sun can provide you with.
Researchers have linked low levels of Vitamin D with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, osteomalacia (softening of the bones), infections, colds, flu, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Whereas high levels of Vitamin D in the body, have been linked to lower rates of colon, prostate and breast cancers.
Scientists at the Medical University of Graz in Austria found that the people with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their study, were about twice as likely to die from any cause over the next eight years, than those with the highest levels.
A team at the University of Warwick, looking at 28 studies on Vitamin D, involving 99,745 people, concluded that middle aged and elderly people with high levels of Vitamin D in their bloodstreams reduced their chances of getting heart disease by 43 percent.
Although we have discussed the elements in the particular seasons, it is worth noting that these elements can occur at any time.
Sometimes this can be even more troubling to our internal workings, as our bodies are unable to adjust quickly and can be caught off guard.
Our modern world has also created new problems. Such as air conditioning which can cause cool and chilly draughts to quickly deplete our energy, or central heating which can dry us out and use up our body fluids. To holidays which can allow us to go from one extreme environment to another, from a sunny climate to a cold or even snowy one.
Our bodies cannot adjust to these changes so quickly, leaving us open to colds, flu, infections and many other problems.
So what can we do to protect ourselves ?
There are several main ways…
Firstly, the simplest way is through our clothing. We can think ahead and make sure that we will have easy access to the right amount of clothes for whatever conditions we find ourselves in. We need to forget about fashion and instead concentrate on having lots of layers, particularly in winter to keep our bodies at the right temperature. We can wear gloves, scarves, hats and whatever else it takes to keep our energy levels secure inside of us.
We can also manipulate our diets. In general, we should eat foods that are warming in winter and cooling in summer. Drying in damp and humid conditions, and moistening in drying ones.
For example, it is relatively easy to get yourself a cup of coffee or even have a shot of whiskey to warm yourself up if you find you have a chill in your bones from being outside too long in the cold.
(Of course always give first preference to pre-existing conditions in your own system. For example, if you already have heat related conditions in winter, don’t go piling in more spices, coffee and alcohol on top of them !).
Lastly avoid doing too much physical, mental or any other type of draining work in any weather extreme. Keep the power in your body, where it can keep it working efficiently in your organs and brain, to protect you and keep you strong, happy and healthy.