Natural Path to Health ~ Chinese Five Element Theory: Part Three, Fire

Last time we talked about the element of Wood. Today we will discuss fire. In 5 element theory, Wood is the beginning of the cycle which leads to Fire, then Earth, Metal and finally Water. You can think of this as the Wood starting as the base. Adding Fire to the wood creates ash which leads to the formation of Earth. Increased formation of Earth will build up and eventually create a Mountain/Rock/Metal. Water flows down from the mountain top to facilitate the growth of more Wood and the cycle continues.

The element of Fire is associated with the color red. Passion, joy, laughter, loquacity and anxiety are the emotions surrounding Fire. It is directly associated with the spirit which also includes enlightenment and the ability to connect with something beyond your personal self. The Heart and Small intestine are the fire organs. Summer is the season of Fire; July and August- the height of summer season (in most areas anyway). The direction is South. Its taste is bitter. 

Fire is associated with growth. As Wood is birth and the start of growth, Fire is the continued growth. Diagnostically we look at the face/completion when evaluating the condition of Fire. Seeing someone with a red, sweaty face would indicate that we should assess the blood pressure and circulatory system of that individual. Fire rules over the blood and the vessels.

The Heart opens into the tongue and it is here we evaluate the state of the Heart more closely. A patient with a red tip or even raised papillae is an indicator that they are suffering from some ailment of the Heart organ system. This does not always mean there is an organic problem with their heart. It may mean that they are having emotional issues and experiencing extreme anxiety. These are ways I observe my patients. From there I am able to formulate more direct questions during assessment.

In treating the above mentioned patient I may recommend that they eat more bitter foods. This is because anxiety is the rising of the emotion and the taste of bitter has a downward action and can help to calm the uprising of the emotion. Qigong practice with an emphasis on exhalation would also be indicated. With acupuncture I would tonify the heart to help stabilize it and work more with the Earth and Water elements to help control the Fire. Naturopathic medicine would offer calming herbs, nutritional supplements, breathing techniques and bodywork to complete the treatment plan.

Next time we will visit the Earth element, the core of the human being. As a quick update, I would like to thank Kimberly for all of her hard work and dedication over the past year +. She has moved on to pursue her own dreams and I am working on finding a replacement to run the front desk at the office. Many thanks to those who stepped in to help out at the office during this transition. I am so very grateful for the support this community provides for me. The office continues to grow and by next week my second treatment room will be operational! There will be an open house this summer and you’re all invited. Thank you again. Be Well~