Into the Fire we Go!: Tips for Staying Balanced in Summer

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Into the Fire we Go!: Tips for Staying Balanced in Summer

We’ve arrived!  The sun is bright! 

The days last seemingly into the night and a playful feeling fills the air. We’re energized, invigorated, and connections and fun with loved ones is the norm.

What is it about this season of Fire that makes everything feel a bit easier, a bit more filled with hope? 

Let’s explore the Fire element to discover its wisdom, so we can stay balanced during this season of scattered energies.

Qualities of the Fire Element

The Spring season, which relates to the Wood element, is about direction and goals–about creating our vision and hopes for our future.

The Fire season which follows then, finds us standing in those hopes and dreams fulfilled.  Nature, reflecting our inner rhythms, is in perfect display of this pattern of fruition:  flowers bloom at their fullest, trees bear their fruit, and the garden grows wildly toward the sun. 

We have completed the work of the spring and all that is left now is to sit and allow the sun to bring all towards its natural progression to ripeness.

The traits of the Fire element are:

  • communion
  • connection
  • fun
  • joy

Lovely!  These are all aspects of the natural expression of Qi at its highest point of the year, and those which we want to nurture during the summer to stay balanced.

Fire nurtures our heart

Because the Fire element is related to the heart, it is important to nurture heart connections during this time of year.

When these traits are nurtured in the summertime, like the sun high in the sky the warmth and love that fill us during this season continue to be warm us emotionally through the year. Then sorrow is kept in check when the days become shorter and our energies start directing inward. 

What happens when Fire becomes imbalanced, and what can you do to resolve it? 

The Fire element imbalance can manifest as either deficiency or excess:

Deficiency:

Those who tend toward Fire deficiency:

  • have a hard time letting loose and knowing how to be playful
  • may isolate
  • may take life too seriously and rarely bring laughter into their days and relationships.
  • physically might lack internal warmth and their internal processes can slow down and function poorly.  Their circulation is sluggish and they can have heart and/or vascular problems.

Excess:

Those who tend toward Fire excess:

  • charmingly fall madly and maniacally in love with almost every person they date, yet lose interest once the flames of novelty burn out. This creates chaos and disorder in their own lives, as well as a path of destruction with many “burnt” souls behind them. 
  • Physically, they may be very high strung and have a hard time slowing down, and may have too much heat, which manifests as excessive:
    • thirst
    • dryness
    • high blood pressure
    • red face and skin, along with many other symptoms.

Tips to keep your Fire Element balanced:

  • If you have a hard time connecting, commit to socializing more this summer! If you seriously isolate and are unable to maintain even friend relationships, you may need the support of a therapist who can help you with this.

  • If you fall in love constantly, take a break from romantic relationships.  Feed your Fire by connecting with loved ones instead, and try cultivating a love with yourself for just this season, and see what comes of it.

  • Spend time near water.  Water balances fire and can calm your flaring sparks!

  • Because the fire element is about connection and understanding, make a point this season of focusing on understanding and really listening to those around you, before overriding their comments with your own
  • Schedule some acupuncture appointments to address issues of depression, or conversely a hyperactive inability to slow down and relax..

Food

  • Your diet should reflect the bounty and variety of vegetables that are now in season
  • More cooling foods can be eaten safely at this time of year than any other, including salads, melons, sprouts, fruits, cucumbers, etc.
  • Even on hot days, avoid *extremely* cold foods and drinks, as cold causes contraction and hampers digestion, leading to sickness due to sudden extremes of temperatures.  Instead, choose slightly cool food and drink. Some of the best choices include apples, watermelons, lemons, and limes.
  • In the warmest of weather, very hot-spicy foods are appropriate (because of the sweating affect). While they do temporarily increase warmth, they then transport that heat to the exterior for dispersal. So take care, as too much dispersal of heat can lead to weakness or loss of yang (heat), which then affects your body’s ability to stay warm in the winter.

(As always, these food recommendations are very general, and may not pertain to your individual imbalances of yin/yang/hot/cold.  The best way to know exactly what you need to eat is to be diagnosed by a skilled diagnostician.)

You’ve awaited all year for this time, so celebrate your heart Fire, as this warmth will bring joy to your life for the entire year ahead. 

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Tags: 5 Elements Fire element acupuncture and depression