Monday, July 4th, 2011

SUMMER AND THE FIRE ELEMENT

At this time of the year the energy that started going up in the spring keeps up and has reached its maximum level.
We no longer feel the need for a spring clean, the need for change or the need to grow. But we feel the need to enjoy,socialize, have fun. Enjoyment is a key word of the fire element. That is what the quality of the season is about. Joy is the emotion of the fire element.

To have a balanced fire element means that we are able to enjoy every aspect of life. We get joy from many things and specially from our relationships. The capacity to engage with others, to have empathy, to laugh and to love are all aspects of this element.

The fire organs in Chinese Medicine are the Heart, the Small intestine, the Pericardium or Heart Protector and the Triple Heater. The Shiatsu therapist will work on these organ’s meridians to help the flow of the fire energy if it is found that they need support.

An unbalanced fire element can be manifested as deficient or excessive

Depression can be a signal that we don’t have enough fire. We don’t get joy from life, we loose the capacity to see the funny side and we can’t get enjoyment from the relationship with ourselves and with other human beings. To have a broken heart is to not to have enough joy. And it’s joy that keeps the heart pumping

Too much fire will bring overexcitement, a manic mood, constant and inappropriate laugh. The heart and the mind are one in Chinese medicine.

A balanced fire allows us to enjoy life and have a serene mind and mood. I always like the image of the candle as a symbol of a sustained, calm, warm fire in our hearts. A person with a strong fire element warms us with his presence.

The heart opens into the mouth and a person’s speech and voice gives us an idea of the fire element in her. Stammering and quavering of the voice will be an indication that the person has an imbalance. A calm, serene voice will tell us that the person has a calm heart and mind.

Another indicator is the quality of sleep.

We need the warmth of the sun. For a person with a deficient fire it’s a good therapy to be exposed to its light to increase her own.

To counteract excessive fire, we have cooling, moist foods like most fruit and vegetables. Especially the most cooling and bitter like cucumber, radish, celery and alfalfa. Other helpful foods are yogurt, soy products and seaweeds. Red meat, alcohol, strong spices and coffee are best avoided.

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