I mentioned in my earlier post “An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine” that I have created a Reiki healing system based on working with the “Five Elements” of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In a series of articles I’m going to be talking about different aspects of the Five Elements and how they impinge on people’s lives: how imbalances in the five elements can show themselves as physical conditions and particular emotions and states of mind.
I have written about how the elements support and control each other through the nourishment and control cycles, I’ve spoken about the meridians and body organs that relate to each element, and outlined the main emotions that derive from Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.
Today we are going to focus in more detail on the emotion of Fire…
In Chinese medicine the concept of Joy refers more to a state of agitation or over-excitement rather than our more passive notion of deep contentment, and Joy is related to the Heart. An imbalance in Fire will show itself as a lack of joy, or joy in excess, and both are harmful.
If someone has an insatiable desire for permanent joy, and this is pursued relentlessly through work or play, then this can put too much stress on Fire and lead to, for example, palpitations and high blood pressure. Fire also governs the blood vessels.
Excessive striving for joy is not healthy, and the stress involved may include a great deal of sexual frustration. An imbalance in fire almost always revolves around a relationship in the person’s life, according to one author.
Since the elements are connected, and Wood supports Fire, a lack of chi in Wood – leading to suppression of anger – can also lead to a suppression in joy, so a person who is unable to properly express anger may be unable to fully experience joy.
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Picture credit: Håkan Elfving