Fiery Furnace — How the Fire Element Can Heal or Harm Us

Photo: Our grateful thanks to Johnathan Macedo on Unsplash.

by Connie Hernandez, ND

Fire is a transformative force, the wildest of the elements.

Fire in the body must be encouraged when it’s weak, tempered when it’s overly strong, and always balanced with the earth, air, water, and ether elements for a vital and healthy life.

  • On a societal level, the flames of dissent eradicate old structures and offer a blank slate for new forms.
  • On a planetary level, the earth was born of an interplay of the elements.
  • In nature, the fiery lava from volcanoes melts, burns, destroys, and turns water to steam.
  • Forest fires burn everything in their path, from underbrush to ages-old trees, and clear the landscape for new growth.
Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

In the physical body, fire may present as fever. Children’s strong immune systems may cause them to spike with an uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous fever. However, the fever stokes the immune system and plays an important role in inactivating offending microbes.

The fever need only be discouraged when there’s extreme discomfort, or when the body temperature climbs dangerously high.

Mothers may acquire the same virus as their child yet mount only a slight response accompanied by a mild fever, causing the illness to linger longer.

In these cases of inadequate response to a pathogen, hydrotherapy fever treatments can burn out the illness, and infrared saunas can activate the immune system and contribute to the body’s ability to stop the infection.

Smoldering fires in the body may take the form of inflammation that can cause ongoing chronic disease.

Fire contributes to vitality.  Individuals  with a balanced fire element tend to be charismatic, energetic, passionate, and joyful.

Too little fire, on the other hand, and a person may be restless and anxious, internalizing emotions and suffering from neck and shoulder pain, lower-back stiffness, overwhelm, insomnia, heart palpitations, and digestive problems.

In Chinese medicine, the fire element is related to the heart, small intestine, pericardium, and “triple heater” (which regulates internal body temperature).

In energy medicine, the element of fire is governed by the third or manipura chakra. On an energetic level, the vibrational frequencies of color and sound, as well as energy medicines such as flower and gem essences and homeopathics can help balance fire.

  • Reds and oranges are strongly associated with the fire element, and can increase the fire energy in our bodies, hearts, and minds.
  • Surrounding ourselves with cooling colors can calm the fire energy.
  • Essential oils, spices, and foods can play a part as well. Lavender and neroli are examples of calming oils, while warming spices include cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and chili. Both Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine suggest detailed diets that balance the fire element.
  • Yogic practices offer pranayama (breath practice) and asanas (body postures) that balance the energy flows that are associated with the energy centers in the body, activating and calming as necessary, and bringing our whole being into balance.
  • As the name indicates, the “breath of fire” pranayam stokes fire, while alternate nostril breathing balances the autonomic nervous system, calming fire.
  • The salutations to the sun and plank poses and lunges strengthen core energy and create internal fire.
  • Vinyasa yoga promotes flow.

If you’re drawn to study of the elements within, you may want to consult with a Chinese medicine practitioner or an ayurvedic specialist. Or use your own creativity and intuition to assess your internal balance of elements and create your own balancing protocol.

For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch, or follow the link to: Consultations – Pacific Naturopathic. Thank you!