Summer and the Fire Element

fireworks in citySummer is a time of abundant energy and heat in nature. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is associated with the fire element, the color red, the emotion of joy and the heart, small intestine, triple warmer, and pericardium meridians. It is a time to exercise outdoors and enjoy the weather with friends and family.

To maintain optimum health, we need to adapt to the conditions of each season. In summer, stay cool and hydrated; drink plenty of water and fluids. Eat lighter and cooling foods such as salads and fruits and rest the hottest part of the day.

Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus of this season, but when our energies are out of balance, or we have trapped internal heat, it can be a very uncomfortable time of year.

In TCM, fire is known to have an ascending property and will affect the upper body with symptoms such as: throat infections, mouth sores, red eyes, etc. It can also create dry mouth, constipation, headaches, thirst, and insomnia. “Extreme emotions such as euphoria, sadness, worry, fear, and anger may also produce fire.” Each of these emotions is associated with an organ and the imbalance will affect the energy flow or organ meridian.

The organ associations are:

  • Sadness with Lung Meridian
  • Happiness with Heart Meridian
  • Worry with Spleen/ Stomach Meridian
  • Anger with Liver Meridian
  • Fear with Kidney Meridian

Acupressure can help balance the body’s energy, but anyone with a long-standing internal heat or damp issue would be better served by acupuncture. Acupuncturists can also prescribe Chinese herbs which are extremely helpful with these conditions.