Laurie Ward on optimizing summer health

Laurie is a Toronto-based Shiatsu Therapist offering treatments downtown, and house calls in Cabbagetown. Get more info and connect at laurieward.ca
Q + A Summer Edition
With summertime around the corner, Laurie explains why the season and traditional Chinese medicine are connected – and how we all stand to elevate our health by turning to ancient therapies.
What is the significance of summer in Chinese medicine?
In Chinese medicine, summer is the season associated with the fire element, the emotion of joy and the heart. This element expresses itself in nature as well as in our bodies, and we can use this practice of medicine to flourish rather than burn ourselves out.
What are your best tips for achieving that balance?
In Chinese medicine, the heart governs circulation and interconnectedness so try to get outside with friends and get your body moving. The small intestine is the yang organ associated with this season. It is responsible for separating the pure from the impure. This is the perfect time to rid yourself of things in your life that are no longer supporting or nourishing you.
In terms of nourishment, what are some foods that can promote synergy and support the immune system in the heat?
The flavour of the fire element is bitter. Think: rapini, dandelion greens, bitter melon and radicchio!

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