What is the Summer Energy All About?
The summer season can be divided into two time periods and elements in Chinese Medicine. First comes full summer, the true heat of the season and is associated with the fire element. Full summer transitions into late summer, which is connected with the earth element, which then leads into fall and the metal element.
Challenges we face in the summer are heatwaves, dehydration, sunburn, trouble sleeping, and agitation. We might also experience digestive distress from eating at BBQs and too much ice cream or chilled beverages. Cold and damp foods like ice cream can extinguish the helpful part of the digestive fire. Like anything, we are looking for balance here. We don’t want too much fire and we don’t want too little. We need to cook the food without scorching it. We want some sunshine and Vitamin D, but we don’t want to get sunburned.
Full summer’s fire element is connected with the organs of heart and the small intestine, the color red, the bitter taste, and the emotion of joy. And as in all aspects of life, there can be too much of a good thing, and that too much joy can look like mania. It can also manifest in a milder way as agitation, anxiety, or insomnia. We can also get a natural boost of energy and enthusiasm for new projects and adventures starting in the spring that can carry into the summer.
The heart is also responsible for pumping blood throughout our body and it also houses our “shen” or spirit. When the fire element is balanced and in harmony, the heart is pumping strong, the spirit is calm and sleep is sound. Imbalances in the fire element during the summer can cause symptoms such as chronic bladder infections, palpitations, circulation problems, sweating issues, and rashes. If there is too much fire in one’s system, speech can be affected and you might see a red tongue tip.
The fire element is associated with the archetype of a magician or comedian, who is all about charisma, compassion, and communication. This fire type personality is spontaneous, intuitive, and enthusiastic. Devotion, tenderness and empathy are also key characteristics. How are these qualities showing up for you this summer? We also might be asking “how do I express myself?” We might be longing for merging and pleasure. Perhaps we are feeling the magnetism and inspiration of the season, or the agitation and mania, or feeling it all at once. Amidst summer’s passion is where dreams can be realized and desires fulfilled. What dreams are on your horizon?