Guest Blog by Eric Hartman, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Sun! Warmth! Joy! These are some of the most commonly ascribed qualities we have for Summer and all it represents. Typically, it’s a time of longer days, warmer temperatures and more outdoor activity. I see my neighbors more often as we are outside working on our gardens or sitting outside in our yards on sunny days. We stop and chat to each other, connecting in a way that doesn’t happen during the wintertime. When we have warmer days, there is a celebratory, joyful feeling in people who are out and about.

How does this season then relate to the element of Fire in Chinese medicine? The Fire element is associated with the season of Summer and all of it’s associated qualities. The organs associated with the Fire element are the Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, and a functional organ (not a physical one) called the Triple Heater. I won’t go into all of them but would like to use the Heart as an example of the Fire element. The Heart and the blood vessels (all 50,000 miles of them!) circulate blood, warmth, and nutrients to the entire body and organs. It is the great connector.

Just like what we are doing in the Summer—warming up, circulating and connecting.The Chinese doctors viewed the human body and it’s organs like the structure of their society. The Heart was considered the ‘Supreme Controller’ or Emperor/Empress of the kingdom.  It is said in the Nei Jing (the classic text of Chinese medicine) that the ‘Mind is housed in the Heart’. So, when we say, “speak from the heart”, the Chinese had realized this thousands of years ago.  The emotion of Joy is associated with this organ. So, when we speak our Mind, it comes from the purest of love and clarity, the Heart.

So, as a way of nourishing ourselves in this season, observe Nature and emulate it. Go outside, take a walk, and say hello to someone. It’s good for your heart!

Please read more about Eric & his work here and look for his seasonal blogs. Save the date for his workshop at the Moon, September 30 on Health & Healing through the 5 Element Lens.