Today, June 21st 2017, it is Summer Solstice Xia Zhi 夏至.
Throughout the year, the Sun is not at the same height in the sky at noon. On this day, it will be at its highest position (while it will be at its lowest during the Winter Solstice, on December 22nd). It is the longest day of the year with, therefore, the shortest night. Thus, Yang energy will now reach its peak before beginning to transform into Yin. But beware, this does not necessarily mean that today will be the hottest day of the year 😉
In Yi Jing, this period is represented by hexagram 44 which is composed of the Qian “Heaven" trigram (3 yang yao or lines) above the Xun “Wind" trigram (1 broken yin yao under 2 unbroken yang yao). Thus, the complete hexagram number 44 comprises 5 yang yao and 1 yin yao below – demonstrating of course that the yin begins to appear.
Maybe you’ve already experienced this change for a few days? Indeed, it can be felt in nature but also up in your body which will adapt to it.
Even though Yin Qi is beginning to make its appearance, we are still in a hot and humid season. From the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is recommended during this period to drain the summer heat and to evacuate excessive moisture. It will therefore be common to see various skin problems appear due to this damp heat or to see other symptoms related to summer heat such as nausea, discomfort, headache, fatigue,… There are several ways to treat them, consult with your TCM doctor for more advice, but remember to regularly hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of clear fluids and avoid heat peaks in the middle of the day.
Another important tip… Take sufficient rest: go to bed before the Zi hour (between 11 pm and 1 am), because at this point, the Yang starts to take the upper hand on the Yin and your body – in search of rest – will have more difficulty falling asleep. Similarly, consider taking a short nap of maximum 30 minutes during the Wu time (between 11 am and 1 pm) as this moment represents the change from Yang to Yin. Doing this will help your body to get used to energy changes more easily.
The summer solstice is linked to the Bai Hui acupuncture point on the top of the skull, which will be more open and become more sensitive. Traditionally, this period is considered very favorable for any meditation work. So what are you waiting for? 😉
Xia Zhi: Image taken from a traditional Tong Shu, published in Malaysia, 2012
Bai Hui: geneticacupuncture.com