Anyone who has stepped outside has noticed the hot breath of Summer upon them, and with that can come the condition known as Summer Heat. Summer Heat is brought on by excessively high temperatures, overexposure to the sun during working, playing, gardening or just being outdoors, and being too long in poorly ventilated places.
There are two kinds of Summer Heat. The basic symptoms of the first (known simply as Summer Heat) include dizziness, a heavy sensation in the head, a suffocating sensation in the chest, nausea, high fever, excess sweating, restlessness, thirst and no desire to talk. If the condition continues and becomes more severe, collapse and coma are possible. These symptoms are also known as heat exhaustion which can lead to heat stroke if not taken care of.
The second kind of Summer Heat has a damp element to it. It usually occurs when it’s really humid out. When it gets hot outside, you generally get thirsty from sweating and drink to keep hydrated. However, drinking, or over-drinking combined with the water in the air can cause Summer Heat plus a waterlogged feeling, appropriately called Summer Heat Damp.
Symptoms include a generally blah feeling, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. It occurs primarily in people who spend a lot of time outdoors on those very hot, very sticky days of mid and late summer.
Here are the best ways to avoid getting Summer Heat!
Know that extreme temperatures affect your ability to function in all situations.
When the weather forecast predicts high heat days, reduce your schedule load to allow for more rest periods.
Wear a hat! Protect that head from the sun’s rays and help keep yourself radically cooler while under the direct sun.
Circulate air while indoors either through a fan or opening windows on the shady side of the building.
Refresh yourself often with drinks that are low in sugar and ice. Too cold a drink will shock your body which will make it work harder to warm up the fluid before it can be used to cool off the body. Keep your drinks just on the cool side of room temperature. A small amount of lemon, mint, or vinegar is good to restore the electrolyte balance of your body. For protection against, and for treatment of summer heat symptoms you can also use apple, watermelon, cantaloupe melon, papaya, pineapple, mung beans (also great for detoxifying the body, they are a diuretic and reduce swelling), summer squash, zucchini and cucumber.
Eat light meals – soups, salads, steamed vegetables. Your digestion with start to slow down as your body gets too warm. If you have no appetite, that’s fine. Just keep drinking. Tea is also good — Green, chrysanthemum, peppermint, or chamomile are all cooling.
Go easy on the exercising! If you are at sea level and the temperature rises to 86 degrees, your body thinks you are 1000 feet higher. If the temperature rises to a blistering 103 degrees, you now feel like you are at an altitude of 2000 feet. Now add humidity with all its heaviness and you feel like you are walking through invisible mud.
Remember the body is already working harder with the thinner air. You might want to give yourself permission to have a vacation during the hot days. Your body will benefit from it.
Acupuncture is always a great option, too. We will focus on clearing the heat, and if you have the damp type, we will also resolve the dampness and calm your digestion down, letting you get back to enjoying your summer!
For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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Author: Andrée Lambertson