Summer is such a beautiful time of year here in the Pacific Northwest. All the lush greenery just comes alive under the nourishment of the sun and provides shady places for our (vampiricly pale) bodies to rest. I know travel is the norm in the summer time but man, Portland is so beautiful its hard for me to think about going anywhere.
Pacific NW musings aside, however, Summer brings with it some predictable activities and some predictable ailments. Primary among them are allergies, insomnia due to the long days or travel and injury. With a few trusty supplements, some simple health tips, and some regular Acupuncture of course, these ailments can be minor and manageable nuisances instead of Summer Fun Stoppers.
Here, therefore, are my favorite tips and supplements for for Summer health:
Health Tips for Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by many different factors, but from an energetic perspective heat is often the primary offender. Energetic heat, which is compounded by the heat of the summer Season and sometimes called a Yang Excess, can irritate the Shen or Spirit which resides in the heart and settles at night to create sleep. Heat in the Heart is like having a stuffy hot bedroom you can’t air out - the Shen doesn’t like it and hence, sleep becomes an issue.
Simple things you can do for insomnia in the Summer time include sleeping with an eye mask or heavy curtains to block out the long summer light, drinking chamomile and mint tea in the evening, and making sure you have no screen time for at least 30 minutes before lights out.
Here are my two favorite supplements for Insomnia:
Kavinace - This amino acid and B vitamin complex is deeply calming - it can even stop panic attacks! I works in about 20 minutes and helps most people get to sleep with ease. Available in office.
Magnesium - Mg relaxes smooth muscle, calming muscle tension and lowering blood pressure. This leads to peaceful Zzzzz’s. 200 mg at night recommended, available OTC or within the "Calm" supplement in my Amazon store.
Health Tips for Summer Allergies
Summer brings with it beautiful flowers with lots of pollen which means itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing for those of us with allergies.
Simple things you can do for allergies in the Summer time include using a Netti Pot or Sinucleanse to do a salt water rinse of your nasal passages morning and night, drinking green tea which can open the sinuses and decrease inflammation and using eye drops like Refresh Tears or Systane (available OTC) to physically wash allergens out of the eye and create a barrier to decrease exposure.
Here are my two favorite supplements for Summer Allergies:
Chuan Xiong Wan - is a Chinese herbal remedy for headache and sinus pressure. I always keep some in my cupboard for allergy season when my sinuses get over pressured. Available in office or online via my Amazon store.
Quercetin: is an anti inflammatory and anti allergy compound. You can find it in many health food stores or online via my Amazon store or eLink herbal dispensary.
Health Tips for Injury
Summertime means getting out and about and doing more fun things! Hiking, biking, walking, running, you name it! But getting into exciting activities often means we get over ambitious and injure ourselves. While many things happen that you just can’t predict, that doesn’t mean that good preparation ever goes to waste.
Simple things you can do to prevent or decrease the likelihood of injury include warming up and stretching before and after exercise for at least 5-10 minutes and hydrating well with an electrolyte mix like Recharge or Coconut Water before and after exercise as well. If you sustain a new injury, start with the RICE protocol for the first three days: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and seek help from an Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, or Sports Injury doctor such as an Osteopath depending on the severity of the injury.
Here are my two favorite supplements for injury and injury prevention:
Ilex 15 - This is an herbal remedy typically prescribed for colds and flus, but it is also an anti-inflammatory. This makes it a PERFECT summer supplement for an active lifestyle. It will bolster the immune system while keeping muscles, tendons and sinews supple and healthy to boot. 3 tabs 2x/day for prevention, available in office or online via my Amazon store.
Yunnan Bai Yao - This is an herbal remedy for injury available in powder, tincture and patch form. If you write on a bruise with the tincture you will literally see the letters come through as they heal first in the middle of the bruise! Available in office.
Get Acupuncture! Comment with Questions.
If you want to know more or pick up some of these supplements just give me a call or send me an email and I will be happy to help. You can also post in the comments section with questions below. Acupuncture is excellent for allergies, insomnia and injury, so don’t forget to keep that in mind if one of these pesky summer issues comes up and book in online, okay?
Until next time,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.