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Getting Ready for Fire Season

Hawaiian lava flow

It’s June, the third month of Spring; the time where the energy (Chi) - inside and outside of you - begins its shift from the Wood element to the Fire Element.  The temperatures are rising, the air is getting dryer - the conditions that support fire.

From an Oriental Medicine point of view, this metaphorical thinking points out that to stay healthy over the next few months, your organs need to be balanced so that they’re able to deal with conditions caused by heat: primarily your Heart and Kidneys. Heart is the organ associated with Fire energy, and Kidneys with Water.

The Heart is most affected during summer, and consequently the Kidneys have to work hard to keep things cooled down, because Water regulates Fire.

Back to the Center
The first few weeks of June are also a good time to pay attention to your digestion. As one season is close to becoming the next, a re-centering takes place. During this transition time - about three weeks prior to the equinox or solstice - the energy (Chi) grounds itself before moving into the seasonal phase. This coming back to center, or rooting, is an attribute of the Earth element, which affects the Stomach and overall digestive processes. Then, after the equinox, you’ll find that your body and mind are more affected by the Fire energy.

Catching Fire
So what are some health issues to be conscious of during the summer Fire season?

  • Spikes in blood pressure or heart irregularity.
  • (Remember: Heart is the Fire organ).

  • Insomnia. This may be an indicator of Heart imbalance.
  • Feelings of anxiety and fear stemming from weakness in the Kidneys.
  • Headache, heartburn, and upper body heat associated with “heat rising” in the body.
  • Containing Fire
    Clearly fire is a good thing. It is a foundational element of life. And, we all know the damaging effects that out of control fire causes.

    Oriental Medicine is a very effective way to enhance the Fire power in your body while simultaneously strengthening the organs that regulate it. The result: a healthy, balanced body and mind, “firing on all pistons.”

    Read our article Staying Healthy in Summer to find out some simple things that promote summer health and happiness.


    Early Spring: Rebuilding Kidney Energy


    Rebuilding KIDNEY ENERGY at the beginning of Spring is very important.

    KIDNEY ENERGY is weak after running full bore through the Winter, so it’s not uncommon at the beginning of Spring to feel lower back pain, weak knees or ankles; or more generally, any discomfort in the lower body, which is the domain of the Kidneys.

    It’s particularly important to begin strengthening the Kidney energy as Spring energy takes over, and compels us to move and create: thats why we call it SPRING!

    We feel the URGE! inside and out; to be creative! to do Spring cleaning! To get outside! work in the garden! start working on the house! The URGE! is to throw ourselves into whatever motivates, inspires, or just needs doing!

    But after a long, slow Winter your body needs to warm up and begin rebuilding the Kidney energy that was depleted over the Winter.

    So just as your car and your financial portfolio need periodic tuneups ... the changing seasonal energy from Winter to Spring ... from Water to Wood ... from Kidney to Liver is the time to begin ... REBUILDING KIDNEY ENERGY ...

    Getting Well with Oriental Medicine


    It’s early Spring … the time of year you’re not really sure what to wear when you go outside. The sun is warming, but the temperature can still drop quite a bit leaving you chilly … and let’s face it, how often do you bring a jacket for ‘later’ after the sun drops down?

    Early Spring is a time when our bodies haven’t yet rebuilt the energy/Chi we expended in Winter, making us susceptible to the colds and flus that are still going around. So what to do?

    “I’m not getting sick, but my wife and daughter are. I haven’t gotten sick once this season and I attribute this to seeing Kitty regularly for acupuncture and taking herbs.” ~ Testimonial

    When you start to feel ‘something coming on’ … usually it’s past the point where the scallion broth or ginger tea remedies will be most effective in helping you fight off a cold. These remedies work best when you take them as soon as you have an inkling of a ‘chill’ or ‘not feeling quite right.’ The more sensitive you are to how you feel, the better able you’ll be in stopping a cold or flu before it has time to take root.

    Whenever you start to feel sick is a good time to recall where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing, and anything else that will help inform you about what might have enabled the illness to get in. This awareness can help you avoid getting sick the next time some pathogen is looking to set up shop inside of you.

    Getting Well
    Oriental Medicine has four basic components: acupuncture, Chinese medicinal herbs, diet, and Chi Kung exercise. When you’re sick Chinese medicinal herbs, minimal acupuncture and dietary suggestions are the primary way back to health; Chi Kung is added back into the treatment process once the pathogen has been dealt with by your immune system and your body is ready to rebuild its energy/Chi. 

    IMPORTANT: Chinese medicinal herbs can help alleviate symptoms once the bug has taken hold, and help your body rebuild its strength to fight off the pathogen and regain its health. Keep in mind that while it’s tempting to try to buy Chinese herbal formulas over the internet, it’s not wise to do so because without a prescritpion from a qualified practitioner you could wind up with the wrong formula and make the illness worse.

    Whether you use Chinese medicinal herbs or not, the best course of action once you’ve gotten a cold or flu is to rest-rest-rest. Just go to bed and stay there for a day or two. When our pets get sick, they know they need to conserve energy, so they rest in a warm spot and let their immune system fight the pathogen. That’s what we need to do too when we get sick.

    “At BIOM, you help me become aware of my body, and what I need to do to maintain it and keep it healthy, and that’s not my experience elsewhere.” ~ Testimonial

    Also, drink plenty of fluids. If you have an appetite, only eat things that are easily digestible— soups, oats, noodles, rice, grains, vegetables, chicken broth are easy on the digestive system;  pizza, burgers, ice cream and the like are NOT.

    Take it easy: Don’t let your thoughts and emotions get the best of you. Ignore the voice in your head when you hear it say things like: “I don’t want people to think I’m lazy.” “I just have to get this done.” “Being sick is for weak people.”

    Working with an Oriental Medicine Practitioner

    If you want to work with an Oriental Medicine practitioner, what they will usually do is have you come in and perform a diagnosis to get a sense of your body’s overall health, taking into account your current illness, and then prescribe an appropriate herb formula.

    The next step in the healing process is to keep in close contact to see how you’re progressing because colds and flu have the ability to change quickly. So the herb formula you start out with most likely will not be the one you end up with at the end of the illness.

    Remember: “Health is the first wealth.” ~ Emerson

    Related Links
    Unique Chinese Medical Herbs
    Cold and Flu Remedies
    What People Say About Kitty Bradshaw at BIOM

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    IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.