The element Fire and Traditional Chinese Medicine
By: Andrew Pacholyk, L.Ac. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have a healing methodology called the 5 Phases (Elements). Summer is ruled by the Fire element and is expressed in nature as well as in the body. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus during this season. Summer-heat belongs to the element of fire and is predominant during the summer season.
Symptoms of summer heat are excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, and heart palpitations.
Strengthening the immune system should be a part of any seasonal ritual! Any tonic formula that strengthens the essence, nourishes the Qi and regulates the heart is appropriate.
Remember, the best form of medicine, is preventative. Learn how to heal with the seasons and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can bring your body back into balance!
See the Summer Herbal Medicine Chest
The Fire Element
The element, Fire is associated with the Summer season and with heat. The element is associated with the heart, pericardium, small intestines and related to the tongue.
Emotionally, this element is associated with the mind and it's stability. The heart is the "seat" of the mind and therefore, its highest expression is love. Enthusiasm, warmth in human relationships and conscious awareness.
The heart Chakra is in the center of the Chakra system and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.
When imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (maniac condition). Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest Yang; nature at its peak of growth, and the motion is upward. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn and insomnia are other indicators of imbalance in this area.
Physically, when the fire element is balanced, the heart properly governs and circulates the blood and insures proper assimilation of the beginning breakdown of food in the small intestines.
Emotionally, when the fire element is balanced, sensitivity and expression, true fulfillment and the equilibrium between heart and mind are our greatest rewards.