“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
Summer is the time of maturation, joy, love and sexuality. What does summer have to do with joy, love and sexuality? In five element acupuncture, summer is symbolized by the fire element. Previously, we explored spring and the wood element. Wood corresponds to birth and the explosive growth that occurs in childhood. Fire corresponds to summer. In this season, humans enter adolescence.
Just as the warmth of the summer sun brings plants to flower and maturity, in early adulthood, humans blossom reaching full growth and sexual maturity. During this period of our lives, we begin to experience passion, romance, sexuality and relationships deepen. We seek to share, connect and communicate. When fire is balanced, we experience intimacy and joy.
As a practitioner of Five Element Acupuncture I often find people have confusion about joy, love and sexuality. These important expressions of the fire element play a vital role in our overall health.
Each of the five elements corresponds to a season and an emotion. Fire is one of the five elements that relates to summer and also to the emotion joy. An excess or deficit of fire adversely affects the health of an individual and shows a fire imbalance. The Five Element Acupuncturist looks for and treats the source of this imbalance.
The Chinese say, emotions should change like weather. Each of the five emotions – anger, joy, sympathy, sadness and fear are important to our health. Each emotion has upsides and downsides. Ideally, each emotion is a note within a song. Getting stuck on one note or emotion is problematic. Too much or too little of any emotion is a sign of imbalance.
The fire within us can roar and become out of control. It can also lose its strength and leave us cold. When fire is excessive, people often feel agitated and irritable. Energetically, they may become hyper-active and manic. Too much fire makes it difficult to communicate and connect with the important people in our lives. Excessive fire makes it difficult to commit to one person or focus our energy on one activity.
When fire is weak, we have difficulty communicating, connecting and expressing ourselves. Emotionally, we can become cool and distant. Happiness, joy and pleasure may be unavailable to us.
Sexual intimacy is also an expression of our fire energy. When fire is excessive, people are often promiscuous and hyper sexual. When fire is inadequate we become cold and sexually unavailable. Neither of these alternatives is good. Ideally, when fire is balanced we have close relationships that open our hearts. In this balance, sexuality can be an important celebration of joy and love.
When fire is balanced, we can enjoy intimacy, in many realms. The love of our neighbors, friends, family, partners, pets, plants, the earth, and of ourselves can be an expression of balanced fire.
Caring is an expression of love. When our hearts are open, connection to another becomes possible. Like a garden, we cultivate relationships where joy and love can grow.
Love requires vulnerability. Sometimes love can be painful, sometimes love is joyous. When the fire element is balanced we are able to use discernment and choose the appropriate times for our hearts to be open.
Joy is a state of grace where we feel at one with ourselves, another, or the cosmos. In joy we feel connection – we become part of a greater whole.
Laughter is the sound that corresponds to the fire element. When our fire energy is balanced, laughter is an expression of joy and happiness.
The meridians associated with summer and the fire element are the heart, small intestine, heart protector and triple heater. Each meridian plays an important role in maintaining our overall health.
For the purpose of this article I will share about the heart official/meridian. Physically the heart pumps blood throughout our bodies delivers oxygen, warmth and nutrients needed to sustain us. JR Worsley, the founder of five element acupuncture say the heart official as the emperor of the kingdom. When all of the meridians are working well together the heart rules with beneficence. With gentle warmth and radiance, the kingdom, which includes our entire organism and the twelve meridians, functions in cooperation and harmony. If any of the meridians/organs are not performing well, the heart attempts to compensate for the short coming and pick up the slack. Over time, the heart becomes weary and the added work places a strain on the heart.
It is easy to forget that we are living organisms just as much affected by the season, weather and time of the day as other animals and plants are. We breathe, evolve and fight for survival just as other creatures and life forms do. Five Element Acupuncture utilizes our connection with nature in treatment. The inherent role that seasons play in our health is considered when diagnosing and treating mental and physical maladies.
In five element acupuncture, we carefully observe the dao or the natural forces of nature that affect all living things. We often forget that humans, while having extraordinary mental capacities are living breathing organisms that are deeply affected by the natural world. Each season plays an important role in our health and development.
The focus of the treatment is to restore a smooth flow of chi or energy in the body. Illness or injury often create energetic blocks, where energy becomes stuck and does not flow freely. The FEA must first remove these blocks for recovery to occur. Next, we support your unique constitution to help you on your life’s path.
You may ask why this article is titled, “Enough Love.” Spiritually, our caring and connection can extend to our family, friends, neighbors and ultimately, the universe. Our planet has grown smaller and our reach has grown larger. We have reached a critical moment in our evolution as a species. Our future is dependent on our ability to share the earth’s limited resources and care for all of the earth’s inhabitants. I believe that compassion is born of love and is one of the key components for the transformation of our planet. And yes, there is enough love in the world!