5 elements of Chinese Medicine: The Fire in Summer

Karen Lam | Minute Read
Wellness

The next season in the 5 Element series is summer. This is represented by the element of fire, commanded by the heart. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the season of summer has these elemental characteristics:

  • Element of fire
  • Heart
  • Passion, laughter, and joy
  • Spirit and maturity

Early to mid-summer is all about the Element of fire. Fire commands the heart, it’s energy blossoms and bears fruit from the seeds planted in spring. If there’s a lack of balance in the heart’s fire we can experience irregularities with our internal body temperature. Deficient fire can cause chills in the extremities, impair blood, body fluids and menstrual circulation. Digestion can be sluggish and bowel movement watery due to a lack of fire. Too much or too little fire can also make one too excited or dull. Excess fire can lead to inflammation issues, dry lungs and nasal passages, cause anxiety and restless sleep. In the digestive tract, it can dry out stool to cause constipation. Too much fire dries out our internal fluid and too little results in excess fluids.

Choose to include in your diet this season: bitter and red foods like watercress, dark leafy greens, tea, watermelon, strawberries and tomatoes.

The fire element holds the heart. All thought, feelings and being our true selves flow through it. Master maturity, balance giving and receiving, live your passion, express joy and share laughter! All are crucial in maintaining the harmony of heart fire – the ruler of spirit.

About the Author:


Dr. Karen Lam

Karen joined Integrative as an associate practitioner in 2000. Dr. Lam is educated holistically and uses ancient and modern science based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods for healing.

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Resources:

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    Physical therapy reviews3 (2007): 169-178.
  2. Brown, Michael N. “The Center for Orthopedic & Regenerative Medicine Science.”