From Anxiety to Joy: Experience the Power of the Fire Element!

The Fire Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine is associated with summer. When you practice with the powers of the Fire Element, you help transform habits, calm your fight-or-flight response, heal your immune system, increase your intrinsic harmony, and move from feelings of panic and anxiety to feelings of inspiration and joy. You learn to be open and expansive to the beauty of the world without defenses and with an open heart that can discern what it does and does not need.

The other four elements only have two organs associated with each of them, but the Fire Element has two organs AND two systems. The two organs are the Heart and Small Intestine. The two systems are Circulation Sex and Triple Warmer.

Here are the four parts of the Fire Element:

  1. Heart – energy of love
  2. Small intestine – energy of discernment
  3. Circulation sex – protector of the heart
  4. Triple Warmer – the outer protector

The Heart

The heart is the yin organ of the Fire Element and is about our capacity for love and connection. The heart informs us like a loving brain that guides our thoughts and behaviors through a loving lens. We learn to be non-judgmental and unconditionally loving through the heart chakra. The heart itself is protected by the pericardium, lungs, and ribs.  Energies from the heart enliven the shoulders and arms to reach out to others with love. The hands being an extension of the heart. To bring yourself into connection with your heart chakra and balance it, imagine a clock on your body facing outward and then slowly circle one of your open palms (facing the heart) counterclockwise for a few minutes.  Then, circle once clockwise. You can imagine a green light emanating from your heart as the heart chakra is associated with the color green.

Small Intestine

The small intestine is the yang organ of the Fire Element. It helps you use your powers of discernment. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the small intestine’s job is to separate the pure from the impure. Physically, the small intestine helps your body decide whether food can be used as a nutrient to build blood, create energy, fuel your body or is waste. Energetically, the small Intestine also helps us separate the pure from the impure mentally and emotionally.

Your small intestine meridian’s function is to assist you in gaining clarity so that you may make a choice best suited to you and your heart’s desire. What do you take in and what do you leave out? What should you absorb and what should you eliminate? You might think about whether a particular activity, food, or person adds value to your life in this moment or not.

Circulation Sex

Circulation sex (also called the pericardium) is your inner protector. It is responsible for circulation of the blood and transporting hormones as well as the feeling of love and your sex life.  As the inner protector, its job is to look after your heart, protecting it from trauma. It brings you joy and pleasure. Circulation sex guards all of the yin systems and even your energetic core that houses the soul. It provides the appropriate energy to all of the other organs.

Sometimes this yin protector goes overboard and restricts the heart.  For instance, when you engage in self-criticism and judgment, the heart can feel “squeezed” and this creates an imbalance in the connective heart field. You can learn to work with the energy of Circulation Sex to remove limiting patterns and beliefs and be expansive again.

The muscles associated with this system are gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, periformis, and adductors  (buttocks, pelvis, hips, and legs). This is the area where the sex organs are housed and common imbalances in this system tend to be related to your hormones (think periods, menopause, and infertility). You might also experience sacral issues or sciatica.

This meridian gets its highest dose of energy from 7 – 9 pm, at a point during the day when you are meant to relax. When you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, you can feel an increase your sex drive.  

Triple Warmer

Triple warmer is often associated with the fight-or-flight response and the sympathetic nervous system. As the most powerful energy system in the body, triple warmer is a meridian (the only one that does not have an organ it governs), a radiant circuit, its own energy system, and is part of the immune system. When over-activated, it can take energy from all the other organs in the body except the heart. In particular, the spleen meridian often becomes depleted through the over-activation of triple warmer.

As you might know from experience, when you’re stressed you tend to burn out and feel exhausted. In Energy Medicine and EMYoga, we engage in many different techniques designed to calm the triple warmer to prevent this from happening. There are specific holds you can do to help. The easiest one is to place one palm over your forehead and two fingers of the other hand (the index finger and middle finger work well) in the notch of the throat. Hold them there for 2 – 5 minutes or until you start to feel relaxed.

If you’d like to know more or for instruction in working with the Fire Element, join me in July for weekly Energy Medicine Yoga (EMYoga) sessions at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays (Central Time). Here is the schedule for each week. You can sign up for the whole month or just come to individual classes. Classes are live online, except as indicated. Recordings available after the class for any class you can’t make live.

July 3: Heart Flows 

July 10 – Small Intestine and the Power of Discernment (RECORDING ONLY)

July 17 – Joy Challenge

July 24 – Circulation Sex – the Inner Protector (RECORDING ONLY)

July 31 – Triple Warmer — the Outer Protector

Link to Register

Happy Summer!!