The organs for the Fire Element are the heart and small intestine. The Fire Element creates warmth, colour and passion in our lives; when we lack fire, we lack emotional warmth.
Heat. Excess heat is injurious to the heart. Someone who adores heat or who on the other hand feels extremely uncomfortable in hot weather, may have a Fire imbalance. Hot and painful joints may indicate that fire has got lodged in an area of the body; fevers and thirst, heartburn and hot flushes indicate this as well. Our body heat is on the surface during the Summer, to try to keep us cool and refreshed. Becoming over-heated and having excess fire is one of the main causes of symptoms of imbalance that can arise at this time of year. To compensate, our diet should consist of cooler, lighter foods during hot weather.
Summer, a time when plants have reached their maximum capacity for growth with the hot temperatures and abundant sunshine. We too have more physical energy and often feel the desire to play more sport, do the gardening and go for long walks. It is a time of optimum growth and warmth, like the sun reaching its highest point in the sky. Summer is also an essential time for building and protecting our energy reserves for the remainder of the year. If your energy reserves are low and you feel fatigued, this can mean that the kidney energy is low and that you did not rest enough and recuperate during the Winter. If this is the case, then it is essential that you look after yourself as much as possible in the Summer months, or your energy could be even lower in Winter, leaving you more susceptible to colds and other viral infections.
Red. When there is a heart imbalance, the skin is highly coloured and has a red tone, a passion for the colour red or, conversely, a total aversion to this colour can point to an imbalance in this element.
Time of day:
11 a.m.-1 p.m. (heart) and 1-3 p.m. (small intestine).
The heart controls the blood vessels and blood, regulating and maintaining them. The spleen and liver are also involved with the blood, but the heart provides its rhythm and regulation. (The spleen holds the blood, preventing leakages and haemorrhages, and the liver is responsible for the release and storage of blood.)
Laughter is the sound for this element: a continuous giggle may be present in the voice, or alternatively there could be a complete absence of laughter and humour. Speech is also ruled by the heart, so incoherence, babbling, stammering and speech impediments, as well as excessive talking, all show that this organ is out of balance.
The tongue. According to ancient texts, the tongue is the mirror of the heart. A TCM practitioner will pay particular attention to the colour of the tongue and to the state of its tip, as this section of the tongue pertains to the heart. Perspiration is the fluid secretion of Fire; the heat is therefore responsible for our sweat. Note how sweating increases during physical exercise when the heart is beating faster to circulate extra blood and oxygen to the muscles. The ancient Chinese believed that sweat could unclog the body, allowing the body/mind to be cleansed throughout.
By looking at the complexion and observing the texture and quality of the skin, the Chinese could read a lot into the state of the Fire Element. When the complexion is rosy, the heart is strong; when the fact lacks lustre and colour, there may be an imbalance.
Symptoms of Imbalance:
Common symptoms that can manifest due to an imbalance include issues around love and self-love, nervous exhaustion or excitability, insomnia, hot inflamed joints, redness and disorders involving the heart such as circulation problems, high or low blood pressure, angina and heart attacks.