I have lost count of the number of times this week that people have bubbled enthusiastically about the improvement in the weather, summer really feels as though it has started. A few weeks ago it seems a bit premature to be thinking of Summer (the weather forecasts were still talking about snow!), but from the perspective of the Chinese yearly calendar, the lunar period known as the Beginning of Summer began on the 5th of May so many acupuncturists will feel a sense of having had their expectations fulfilled by the onset of balmy days and by the uplifting rush of summer energy that so many of us are experiencing.This is the time of year when the first hints of the Summer season should be discernable, it is the beginning of the transition between the Spring and Summer seasons.
It will come as no surprise that the Summer season is closely related to the Elemental energy of Fire, during the Summer the sun brings us more heat, more light than at any other time of the year reflecting the full, bright, warm and expansive energy of the season. You may detect signs of this Fire energy of the Summer season in the way you feel, in the way you behave. You may start to dress more lightly, wearing brighter, lighter clothes. In keeping with the relaxed, expansive nature of the energy of Summer; you may feel more upbeat, more social, you may feel a sense of coming out of yourself, of turning towards your social network and your community. The energy of Summer has a outwards, expansive, ‘full’ nature, it is the peak of the inhale, the energy of the ball thrown into the air as it seems to hover before it starts to fall.
With the coming of the warmer weather there will be more opportunities for social interaction, more community events. These provide the perfect opportunity to communicate to other people through speaking, shaking hands and hugging; speech is closely connected to the Fire energy of the Summer. It is no coincidence that the Fire meridians run down the arms to the hands which are used in the social meeting and greeting rituals of hugging, hand-shaking and even waving. Some people find social interaction more daunting, the energy of Summer can ease their path, making social exchanges more relaxed and less stressful than similar events at other times of the year.
Laughter is the sound associated with Fire, the sound of the Summer; laughter that bubbles up from the heart which is the Organ associated with Fire. In a similar vein, Joy is the Emotion of Summer, an emotion that you can feel expanding in your chest and literally bursting out of you. We tend to think of Joy as a healthy emotion, but as with all things related to Chinese Medicine theories, it is all about balance. There are two extremes to a pathology of joy, the first would be someone who is too attracted to a sense of joy which can present as someone always pleasure seeking, someone who avoids serious conversations for fear of bringing their mood down. This over-dependence on joy is as pathological for health as the absence of joy which is seen in someone who cannot feel joy, even when it would seem to be an appropriate emotion for them to feel. Either of these extremes can affect the way energy flows through the system, creating potential for imbalance.
If you feel that you have an imbalance of joy in your life you may find acupuncture can help to rebalance your relationship with this emotion, whether you over-identify with it, or whether you are unable to fully connect to the emotion. The Summer months are definitely the best time to work on this aspect of emotional balance as it is the time when the Fire energy is at its most active and has the highest potential for change.