Summer afternoon, summer afternoon- to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” —Henry James

Summer has made its full force known, and if we follow the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) way of looking at the seasons through the Five Elements, we are in the Fire Element time of the year. The Five Elements, according to TCM, offers us a lens in which to view ourselves and the world around us. Many integrative modalities such as Acupuncture, Qigong, Feng Shui, and Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) use this Five Element Wheel to help balance our energetic systems in order to achieve good health and wellness.

An imbalance in the Fire Element can result in the feeling that you have run out of steam. It can even lead to feelings of being out of control and panic. However, when this element is in balance, we feel a passion for life, inspiration, playfulness, and joy. One way to balance the Fire of summer is through a few simple techniques taken from EEM.

The Triple Warmer Smoothie is a great exercise to do anytime, but even more so during “Fire time”. Rest your face in your hands with your palms at your chin and fingers at your temples. Take two breaths, and then, as you breathe in deeply lift your fingers a few inches above the ears. On an exhale, circle behind your ears and press down the sides of your neck to your shoulders. As you hang your hands on your shoulders, press in and take two more breaths. Finally, drag your hands down to cover your heart and take a deep breath.

Another way to help calm the feeling of being out of control is to hold the Neurovascular Reflex Points (NV) associated with the Fire element. Hold the points above your eyebrows, called the Main NVs, along with the area on the back of your head directly behind your eyebrows. Breath into this a few times as you hold these two areas with a light touch. You can also do another type of hold by placing one hand on those same Main NV points on your forehead, while placing the other hand flat above your naval. Hold this for a few minutes while breathing deeply.

Taking Down the Flame also helps to balance the Fire Element, calms emotions, helps to create a sense of well-being, and can help to lower blood pressure if it is done regularly. Take a deep breath in and out with your hands on your thighs. On the next inhale, raise your hands on either side of your body and connect them above your head so that your fingers and thumbs meet, and on an exhale bring them down to your head, touching your thumbs to the top of your head. Inhale and on an exhale, bring your thumbs to the middle of your forehead. Inhale and on the exhale, bring your thumbs to your heart area. Inhale and on the next exhale, bring your thumbs to your naval and flatten your hands. Inhale, and on the next exhale, bring them to their original position on your thighs. Finally, on the next exhale, move your hands down your legs, and off your toes. Then trace your hands up the inside of your legs, and finish with your hands over your heart. If you really want to add even more balance to this exercise, you can exhale each time with the “Haaaaaa” sound.