The element of Fire is at its height in the summer, when the sprouting potential of spring blossoms into the abundant harvest of the summer months. Like the plants and flowers all around, the Fire season is a time of vibrance, warmth, and intensity. Think of neighborhood barbecues that go late into the evening. The nurturing that happens during the spring allows us to share our warmth and compassion with others, like a tree heavy with succulent fruit.
Fire Out of Balance
The Fire element in the body can be excessive or deficient, causing disruptions in our body’s vital processes. Deficient Fire can lead to cold extremities, inhibited circulation, poor digestion / loose stools, as well as menstrual, urinary and sexual dysfunction. Fire in excess can dry out the body’s fluids, causing constipation, inflamed sinuses, and painful inflammation of the joints.
The Spirit of Fire
On an emotional level, Fire allows us to experience joy, enthusiasm and passion of life and our endeavors. Disharmony in the Fire element can cause the physical symptoms discussed above, but it can also result in psychological concerns as well. Deficient Fire may cause feelings of inner lack or drive, poor self-worth, and relationships that are fraught with anxiety and fear of rejection. At the other extreme, an excess of Fire may lead to an over-exuberance that we see in those that are too “on” all the time. Like the summer that never ends, these types are too hot, too much, always joking and laughing, with no time for self-reflection.
Chinese Medicine and the Elements
Like a healthy plant that produces vibrant flowers, a healthy body exudes warmth and joy, when appropriate. This is the body’s thermostat, that allows us to be passionate and engaged in the correct setting, but also knows when to turn things down if we need to feel more protected.
Traditional Chinese therapies have been used for thousands of years to address elemental imbalances. There are many points on the body to reduce Fire in particular areas of the body, so that an excess doesn’t scorch the delicate tissues. Several points help to foster the body’s Fire, so that our digestion can work optimally and our processes run smoothly. Herbal formulas are also essential to regulating the elements in the body so the we can feel in tune with our surroundings, but also respond to challenges in positive ways.
You Can Tend Your Home Fire
• Make time for joy and silliness -- Life is not all work; you need laughter and levity
• Find something to feel passionate about...hobbies, volunteering or creative projects
• Get moving -- exercise takes you into your body and quiets your head.