The weather in Indian summer is fickle: some days tease with the oncoming cool temperatures of fall, while others defiantly hang on to the warmth of summer. Indian Summer types are neutral and mild-mannered in personality, holding a space for contrast and change, but never pushing the boundaries. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the fatigue and weakness typically experienced by these types results when there is a deficiency of qi.
In general, Indian Summer types tend to lack energy and have a passive manner and a soft voice. Their immune systems are weak and they are frequently sick with colds or flu. Having a diminished appetite along with frequent cravings for sweet foods, they are also likely to have weak digestion. Indian Summer types may also bruise easily and suffer from recurring bouts of dizziness. They tend to be mild-mannered and reliable, but can also be prone to worry and anxiety.
"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of the year."
– William Longgood
Indian Summer types should eat foods which enhance qi and enrich the blood. The most fresh and vital foods (e.g. organic foods, freshly picked produce, and high-quality meats) provide the most nourishment and energy. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates also provide long-lasting sources of energy to support the body’s activities. Naturally sweet foods like beets, corn, and sweet potatoes can help to address sweet cravings and are preferable to refined sugars. Animal-source foods, dairy products, and foods that are rich in iron (e.g. red meats and leafy greens) are also beneficial.
These body types should engage in dietary habits that support proper digestion, like chewing foods well and eating mindfully. They may also find the support of probiotic supplements or digestive enzymes to be helpful.
Complex carbohydrates, grains, and staples
Naturally sweet foods
Fresh foods, preferably organic
High-quality meats, seafood, and dairy products
Chewing foods well and eating mindfully
Iced drinks and frozen desserts
Foods with low-quality qi (e.g. processed, microwaved, or frozen foods)
To achieve balance in their lives, Indian Summer body types must find ways to fortify themselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually. By strengthening their energetic connection to the universe around them, they can build a stable foundation for support. Meditative practices that promote centering oneself and being present in the moment are suggested. Walking meditation (repeating a mantra while taking slow and deliberate steps) is one type of meditation practice they can use to increase self-awareness.
Because Indian Summer types often lack appreciation for themselves, they benefit from engaging in a more positive belief system and developing self-respect. Incorporating affirmations through journaling or self-talk will assist them in replacing their irrational worries and anxieties with more supportive and empowering thoughts. By acknowledging their unique contributions and abilities, Indian Summer types can build confidence and meet life’s challenges with more balance, fortitude, and ease.
To boost their energy, Indian Summer types should engage in activities that help to build and enhance qi. Deep, abdominal breathing into the dan tian, or the body’s center, is a practice for cultivating energy and vitality from within. Spending time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine (e.g. through nature walks, hikes, and gardening) gives these types the opportunity to ground themselves, absorb the energy of the Earth, and use it to replenish their own qi.
Indian Summer types should bolster the body’s center through postural alignment and core strengthening. The Feldenkrais system uses simple movements such as walking or bending to expand self-awareness, while activities like Pilates and yoga increase core strength and foundational support. Balance exercises like those performed on a balance board or through tai chi routines can help to develop stability. Higher-intensity activities like paddle boarding, surfing, and snowboarding are also recommended to engage the torso muscles.