The Five Phases or Elements is a healing methodology within Chinese Medicine. According to this Summer is ruled by the Fire Element. The other Elements and corresponding seasons are Earth and late summer, Metal and autumn, Water and winter and Wood and spring.
These elements express the cyclical nature of how nature is dormant in Winter, starts growing in Spring and coming to full growth and expansion in Summer to decline again in Autumn.
The Fire element in Summer is expressed both in nature as well as in our body. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus during this season as the heart, mind and spirit are ruled by this element.
During this season energy is abundant, the days are long and filled with sunshine. This is the most yang time of year. Summer is about expansion, growth, activity and creativity.
Summer-heat is predominant during this time of year and belongs to the element of Fire. Symptoms are excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation and heart palpitations.
Organs: Heart and Small Intestine
Summer is a yang season; expansive, expressive, creative. Spring and summer are the best times to cultivate the yang energy, whereas in autumn and winter we want to protect our yin energy.
Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang, which means it is a great time to be out-going, going outwards into nature and in our lives. It’s a time to start projects and be creative.
Live Life to the Fullest
The heart’s main function is to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body. In Chinese medicine mental activity is associated with the heart, and our memory, thought processes, emotional well-being and consciousness are also attributed to the heart and fire element. This is a time to nourish and pacify our spirit and to realise our life’s greatest potential as we find joy in the hot summer days and warm summer nights.
When the fire element is in balance the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound.
We may experience an imbalance in this element as lack of joy (depression) or an excess of joy (mania). Agitation, nervousness, heartburn and insomnia can also point to a fire element imbalance.
How to stay healthy this season
To prevent summer ills and remain in balance with the environment of summer:
- awake earlier in the morning
- go to bed later in the evening
- rest at midday
- drink plenty of fluids
- add pungent flavours to your diet
- keep calm and even tempered.