FIRE ELEMENT – Part 1 • The Heart
Discover each of the five elements through this series of Blog posts, learn more about the human body, mind, about yourself, and how yoga and food affect each of your organs and your energy. To simplify your learning experience, I have separated the four organs that compose the Fire element. This article introduces the Fire element but is solely explaining one organ: the Heart.
The fire element is the fire of not only digestion (in the Small Intestine), but the fire of blood (hot blood), of the intellect and of the heart function, the arteries and the veins. All of these organs have this fire quality.
The Fire element is the quality of creativity, of bitter taste. It is all about opening the chest and creating pressure in the guts.
The armpits, the elbows and the little fingers are all the power and the strength of the Fire element (the Heart and Small intestines meridians both run through these parts of our bodies).
The Fire Element is all about heat, pressure and communication (heart problems shows when the highest number of heart attacks occur in summer).
Fire is very creative. It makes things happen. But it’s also destructive because if you create something, it’s going to destroy something else. The energy of Fire rises up and creates the feeling of lifting in the body. As soon as it rises up it expends into the arms.
The nature of the Fire energy is to go sideways and up and because of this sideways and upward expansion the Fire energy connects. Therefore it creates communication.
Speech is a creative process, and the Fire element is present in the throat: that making of a noise is a creative process.
The Fire element is all about communication, intellect, creativity, destruction, conversion (changing one thing into another) and regulation.
The Fire season, summer, is a phase of abundance of energy. That’s why people feel energetic and happy in summer.
The nature of Fire is to destroy and transmute. The Fire in the belly cooks the food and creates the release of energy, the connection, and makes it communicate with the rest of the body. So the Fire in the belly is what creates our ability to communicate that food intake into the rest of the body. So the blood is part of it. The Small intestine builds the Fire!
When people lose this Fire energy, they lose the ability to communicate internally: they don’t know what they want, or know they can’t create, or simply feel sad for no apparent reason.
The colour of Fire is therefore red (relates to blood/blood vessels).
Fire element overactive signs:
Red in the face
Expanded chest (unusually big)
Loud, with the tongue sticking out a lot
Over connecting with people
Love bitter food because it feeds the Fire element
Speech problems (communication)
What foods are good to eat in Summer?
In summer we’re much more active but we need less foods. We should have less salt in the cooking, no animal products, lots of corn and corn products (polenta), no millet or buckwheat, stir fried foods and lightly cooking (blanched, steamed or lightly boiled) or even raw foods.
Fruit is a “Fire food”: it grows in abundance in summer and allows circulation. But it also weakens the blood. It creates a rush of heat in the body (then you need another hit).
The Heart is one of the 2 “Yin aspect” of the Fire with the Heart Constrictor.
The Heart is the most YIN function in the body because it always works, as opposed to the Triple Heater which is the most YANG function of the body (because it is often passive/dormant)
The Heart is the strongest organ in the body in a way, as it is the last one to give up. It is our source of imagination (changes external stimulation into internal images/understanding). It’s a creative process of connecting things together.
Happiness comes from being connected. Sadness on the other hand, comes from being disconnected. It makes you feel isolated: it comes from the Heart not working.
Heart Kyo (= under-active) is best described as an inability to connect with things, people, nature, etc. That’s why people with weak Heart need alcohol to feel connected: they need that stimulation because they need attention. That’s why they are loud (communication).
The Heart brings different component together. It doesn’t do anything on it’s own but it creates connections. The Heart creates connections between the body organs and the different energies. The Heart function gives you direction in life, it makes you fit into the world.
Kyo heart can come from sustaining a shock or a psychological stress over an extended period of time (mental condition changes then). For example: External stimuli received by the heart is too strong, which leads to the heart meridian weakening.
Many psychiatric patients with Kyo Heart are overwhelmed by hallucinations/delusions created by their own subconscious. They become unable to conceptualize the outside world correctly.
Speech impediments can be from Heart Kyo (the Heart meridian runs on tongue) according to Masunaga.