Balancing Fire & Heart energy

Originally published in June 2013 on Armonia Holistic Health’s blog post

“The supernatural forces of summer create heat in the Heavens and fire on Earth; they create the heart and the pulse within the body…the red color, the tongue, and the ability to expresss laughter…they create the bitter flavor, and the emotions of happiness and joy.”

The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, the earliest written record on Chinese medicine theory, over 2000 years old, is still used today


These are the associations and correlations of the Fire element:

-Governs Blood, which nourishes self-love

-Houses the Spirit, called Shen in Chinese, which maintains the emotional connection between humanity and the divine

-Manifests in the face and opens to the tongue

-Emotions are joy, love, and compassion

-Season is summer

-Flavor is bitter

-Color is red, like fire

-Climate is heat

-Internal organs are Heart and Pericardium (Heart Protector), Small Intestine and San Jiao (Triple Heater)

Fire tends towards excess types of signs and symptoms, with the sheer heat of the season, but also can be from excess activity and stress or stimulation from the outside environment: high stress job, going non-stop, frequently watching and reading negative news, feeling the “demands of others” and the weight of responsibilities.  These influences can be felt at any season, but notice if you feel particularly sensitive to these “assaults on the Heart” during this season.  An example: if you are a caregiver, how long can you continue giving if you don’t love and take care of yourself?  Can you give to others from a vessel, the body, that is empty?

These signs and symptoms, when present for an extended period of time, indicate the Fire element being out of balance:


-dream-disturbed sleep/vivid dreams



-inability to concentrate

-timidity, being easily startled

-stuttering or being overlly talkative

-forms of schizophrenic mania




From Lorie Eve Dechar’s Five Spirits:  Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing, on a spiritual/Shen level, disharmony in this Element can manifest as:

-Person’s personality does not fit the life he or she is living

-Lack of inspiration and insight

-Ambivalent sense of self

-Much activity but no center nor grounding

-No self-reflection

-Inability to distinguish real from unreal

Anything that upsets the Heart upsets the Shen!  Sudden emotional trauma, shock and abuse can cause a Shen disturbance.  In Maya spiritual healing as taught to me by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, through the Mayan Spiritual healing retreats offered through the Arvigo Institute, emotional trauma or shock is treated through spiritual baths which involve using water, fresh herbal plants, burning of copal incense, and the most important ingredient: prayer.  More information can be found in her books Rainforest Home Remedies and Spiritual Bathing: Traditions from around the world.

Deep seeded disturbance of the Fire element, such as psychosis and mania, requires professional assistance and a holistic approach to healing, but there are several self-care tools that will balance our Fire element, calm our Shen and bring us closer to harmony with Nature and ourselves:

-Slow down enough to be aware of what your body and Heart are tell you

-Bring a meditative quality into your daily activities

-Cultivate a sitting practice

-Journal, paint, draw

-Practice the self care tools you already know

-Take that vacation you are longing for

-Take time to listen before acting, wait for clarity

-Wear red and bright colors if you feel “lacking in fire”

-Have fun with water and around bodies of water

-Incorporate bitter foods into your diet: arugula, romaine lettuce, sprouts, watercress, dandelion greens, aloe juice, turnips/radishes, asparagus, celery, quinoa, amaranth, citrus pith and peel

-Eat more salads and lightly cooked foods, but not over indulge in iced foods or cold beverages as these damage digestive enzymes and taxes the digestive energy

-Incorporate teas and beverages that are mildly diuretic such as hibiscus, corn silk (this is one of my favorite teas when I buy fresh corn!), chamomile, spearmint, coconut water

I share with you two of my favorite quotes on love:

When you become a lover of what is, the war is over.    Byron Katie, author

The only positive energy that truly exists is love, and the greatest expression of that is loving yourself.  Don Juanito, northern Peru Amazonian shaman

In-Joy summer in whatever form your inner guidance wishes for you!

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