Hello Summer! The season of expansion. In Traditional Chinese medicine summer is classed as a yang season, and associated with the Fire element. An opportunity to harness light, to create energy and growth – just as the plants do.

It’s important to take time to balance and cool off with yin activities, such as rest, meditation and therapies, such as reflexology and acupuncture. Energy is something that we all crave, we need energy to heal. Some of the most beneficial changes that we can make to our mental and physical well-being are some of the simplest things to do.

If you take a look at your average week, which of the two qualities – yin or yang – dominate your schedule? Which activities are physically or mentally active or stressful, and therefore yang? Which activities are relaxing and come at a slower pace, and therefore more yin?

Take some time to evaluate your routine and strive to balance the energies. Whether it’s more movement and activity, or restorative time spent in nature, a chapter of your favourite book or relaxing bath. Write it in your diary as an appointment with yourself. Make yourself a priority, and feel the benefit.

How can we eat for gut health during Summer? Summer fruits and veggies are in abundance right now, try to eat as locally and seasonally as you can. The produce that has grown the nearest to us and arrived at our home as close to harvest as possible are the ones that are brimming with nutrients!

Try to steer clear of damaged fats (margarines and refined oils) processed foods (which can also come disguised as ‘health foods’) refined carbohydrates and sugars, as they can damage the gut flora and drive inflammation. Focus on a diet rich in whole foods – veggies, fruits, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds and include healthy fats and fermented foods – such as sauerkraut, miso, kefir and kimchi. These foods will nourish your body and take care of your gut flora, which in turn, will take care of you!

Reflexology. Reflexologists are trained to help balance the body-mind through stimulation of pressure points, called reflexes on the feet and hands. The treatment induces deep relaxation and can work very specifically to help the body heal itself by promoting natural equilibrium in every gland, tissue, muscle, organ and cell in the body.

I often get asked if you need to be in pain to have a treatment? The answer is no, absolutely not! You can enjoy Reflexology treatments as part of your well-being, preventative routine.

What can Reflexology help with? People often seek Reflexology to manage stress, finding relief from anxiety, tension and insomnia. Treatments can also help with musculoskeletal pain, hormonal and digestive imbalances. In many cases clients will see their symptoms improve or disappear.