How to Dudley Well This Summer

With summer in full swing, we’re having lots of fun in the sun—and overdoing it on the tennis court or at the BBQ can have unwanted side effects. To help us tackle these summer symptoms, holistically, we turned to Sarah Swanberg, MS LAc, of Indigo Acupuncture + Wellness, for advice. 

Just Add Pressure

Summer’s literally in full swing: I’ve been seeing lots of golf-induced back pain. And an overall increase in activity during summer can lead to back and shoulder injuries. Cupping is one of my favorite ways to help relieve cranky back muscles. It works by pulling up stagnation in the muscles to the surface, and by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Most people feel instant relief after a cupping session. If you can’t get into an acupuncturist’s office, a great DIY acupressure point is Bladder 40, located in the center of the crease behind the knee. Applying moderate pressure here for 1-2 minutes can help reduce lower back pain. 

The Antidote for All-Day Rosé 

Between all the BBQs, parties and cocktails, summer can be a time of overconsumption. The chinese herbal formula Bao He Wan is traditionally used to treat “food stagnation,” AKA one too many hot dogs, and I recommend keeping in your purse in case. I also love to bring digestive enzymes along when I’m heading to a BBQ. Enzymes help break down challenging foods like gluten and dairy, and I find them helpful for avoiding that post-party food coma. Acupuncture is a great tool to help keep your digestion running smoothly, too!

Take a Chill

In Chinese Medicine, nutrition plays a very important role in overall health, and every food is categorized as “hot” or “cold.” When it’s really hot out, eating certain “cooling” foods can help you regulate your body temperature. Because of its high water content and cooling nature, watermelon is one of the best foods for a heatwave. Mint is another cooling food, so combining these is a great (and delicious) idea. Watermelon can be high in sugar, so adding a fat source like olive oil helps slow down digestion to avoid blood sugar spikes, as in my go-to BBQ side dish:


1 watermelon cubed

1 bunch of mint, finely chopped

½ red onion- sliced thin and soaked in icewater to lessen the intensity

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Interested in checking out acupuncture but not sure where to begin? Pre-order Sarah’s forthcoming guide, available August 13, to find her insider tips for patients.