Getting Real With Lisa Van De Graaff

In Five-Element Theory, summer is the time of fire. Fire organs include the heart, small intestine, pericardium, and the triple warmer. The heart is our source of passion and compassion, and it integrates our senses. The small intestine discerns what is right and not right for us in our lives – As in Western understanding, the small intestine digests/assimilates what we need and releases what we do not need. The pericardium (also known as the heart constrictor) protects the exceptionally vulnerable heart and governs circulation and distribution of nutrients throughout the body. The triple warmer (also known as the triple heater) is a health concept foreign to those of us in Western society, but it is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to provide a support function to the small intestine, to protect the lymphatic system, and to provide the heat necessary in the upper chest, mid chest, and abdomen for the body’s organs to function properly.

A fire element that is out-of-balance will often present itself in a manic way with surges of joy followed by apathy. One may also experience sensitivity to heat and cold, health issues with the tongue and/or cardiovascular system, and an inability to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family.

A balanced fire element will reap the rewards of spring’s labors with long summer days spent enjoying the companionship of loved ones. There will be laughter, listening, and an appreciation of all that is in bloom around us.

Nurture the fire element this summer by allowing yourself to spend time with people who are of like mind – surround yourself with the people that support your passions and feed your soul. Once the weather warms, it is time to enjoy more raw foods. A salad with bitter greens (such as escarole, arugula, and dandelion) would be especially beneficial to the heart. However, avoid excessively cold drinks that will extinguish the digestive fire, especially when eating raw foods.

Live your passion!