Summer is here as the Solstice and first official day of summer recently arrived. In Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with one of the five elements of nature and teaches us about how the current season influences our body and mental and emotional state. This season is the Fire Element, the element of joy!
The fire element is connected to the acupuncture channels that connect to the heart, pericardium, san jiao, and small intestine. From a Chinese medicine perspective, all of these organs are used to clear heat from the body, as well as provide heat to necessary parts of the body.
Too much heat can cause anxiety, frequent urination, skin outbreaks, joint pain, agitation, racing mind, profuse sweating, among other signs of inflammation. Too little heat can cause symptoms like depression, lack of joy, cold hands and feet, poor digestion and assimilation of nutrients from your food, not sweating at all, and low back and menstrual pain.
Giving yourself time for stillness and reflection during this season can help balance out the rising energy of the fire, and can bring some great insights into the realm of the heart. From an emotional perspective, the fire element deals with relationships with yourself and others, intimacy, joy, prosperity, and desire.
Types of questions to reflect on during this time:
How open am I to connecting with others in my life?
Do I show love myself in my thoughts and actions? Can I bring more loving thoughts into my life?
Do I recognize and feel the prosperity already present in my life?
What qualities does my heart desire to bring into my life?
What brings me true joy? Can I add more of it in my life?
And as for food – treat yourself to lots of watermelon and cucumbers! Also, include some coconut milk, mung beans and eggplant. They clear summer heat and re-alkanilize your body to feel cool. Be sure to visit your local farmers market for all the delicious farm fresh veggies that give your body the nutrients it craves.
Wishing you all the joys of summer!! And don’t forget to take a vacation 🙂
Jennifer Blatnik, L.Ac.