SUMMER RESOURCES

SUMMER-TIME: LIGHT YOUR FIRE

Inspiration, creation, communication and the rising energy of the Fire Element

Summer energy rises from the red hot melting pot of the Heart, Small Intestine, Heart Protector and Triple Heater. These four energy meridians combine in creative Fire to bring out the best in us. They support us in our relationships: with ourselves, other people and the world at large. Consider:

  • Compassion & Spiritual connection born of heightened awareness & an open Heart
  • Empowerment supported by the Small Intestine meridian
  • Communication & Connection within yourself and with the world around you courtesy of the Heart Protector and Triple Heater meridians.

Everything you need to make a reality of the ideas that inspire you.

This is the season of caring & sharing, of creativity, joy & laughter and your Heart energy is at the center of it all. The Heart meridian is the Queen of the System and House of the Spirit (Shen) or Consciousness. It is the spiritual core of the Fire Element and drives our capacity for compassion.

COMPASSION & CARE … for yourself & the world around you

I cannot overstate the importance of bringing conscious empowerment to your connection with yourself. It is time to treat yourself with care and compassion: time to nurture your Fire Element and your Heart in particular. Because the stronger and clearer you are – in your Heart and in yourself – the more you have to give and the more imagination you will bring to your giving.
Clarify your aspirations and develop the self-awareness, empowerment and resolution to make good on them.

A new type of Summer Yoga:
Reach out and connect with compassion and awareness.

You will see how it becomes easier and easier to give. Even better, the pleasure of giving will further compound the original feel-good of quality self-care.

DISCOVER more about
INSPIRATION, RESOLUTIONS, CONNECTION & SUMMER SPIRIT

SUMMER RESOURCES … your body, your energy & your quick links

Get in touch with your Fire Element

Summer is peak season for discovering your embodied Fire Element. I suggest you start with Masunaga’s Makko Ho. These are simple Zen energy exercises to connect with your four Summer meridians as you promote energetic release, lift and flow:

Videos of these exercises can be found on
INSTAGRAM – barbara_richardson_zenshiatsu
Makko Ho Video, Parts 3 & 4, posted June 2 & 9, 2020

Give some loving attention to your Heart meridian

Deepen your understanding of Prayer Pose, Pranamasana. It is easily accessible and a foundation stone of Heart Yoga.
Follow the directions in the post and learn how to consciously maximize on this simple pose to lift your Heart energy.

Reverse Prayer Pose, where the praying hands are against the upper/mid-thoracic spine, offers more of a challenge. Luckily it can be worked on in stages.
It also presents an opportunity to use focused attention and relaxed breathing to maximize awareness of the Heart Chakra space, the meridian line and energy flow. A heightened sense of your own well-being in the pose will follow.

Help your Heart - Home of your spirit - this Summer
HELP YOUR HEART THIS SUMMER

Expand your focus and share the joy with your Triple Heater meridian

Also known as the Triple Energizer &/or the Triple Burner, this is the most obscure of the Fire meridians – but nonetheless incredibly important. It manages our body heat and our ability to generate energy. It also governs the way in which we adapt to our environment – be it the cold of winter or the mood in the room.

It’s worth discovering more about the Triple Heater. You will appreciate just how much Skin you have in the Triple Heater Game and how easy it can be to lift its overall function.

More specifically, you can start to Build Your Upper Heater Energy simply by breathing better. It’s fairly simple really: draw in more clean, energy-loaded air; allow it to penetrate deeper into the system; then thoroughly expel the old, stale air that will do you more harm than good. Repeat.

The Triple Heater and Immunity

The skin is the principal organ of the Triple Heater meridian. And the Triple Heater is the single most important meridian for our immune system. The relationship between the Triple Heater and our immune system is fleshed out further in IMMUNITY BUILDING: the Quick Links Post.

On the “Immunity” theme, learn how to give yourself a mini-Shiatsu with this Triple Heater DO-IN Foundation Sequence . This basic, quick Do-In is designed to open up the breathing and stimulate the skin, the Triple Heater channel and the immune system. It’s easy, extremely NON-technical and leaves you feeling revved up and ready for the day.

And there’s even a DO-IN VIDEO on my INSTAGRAM
Do-In Video Series, Part 1, posted May 14, 2020

Looking for something more demanding?

No doubt some of you are also interested in building some more “serious”, tangible Fire Element strength. Try this Summer Workout to empower you via your Small Intestine meridian.
It will encourage you to use your long / large muscles, strengthen through the chest and arms and lift your heart rate. You should also have a really good sweat. Then you get to follow through with some passive stretching, hydration and recovery.

As the season progresses we move into Late Summer, the fifth season of the Oriental Medicine Calendar. This is a good time to add in some Fire into Earth Element Yoga to support you through the transition.

SUMMER ENERGY … MORE DIRECT APPROACHES

Let me introduce you to Heart Protector 8, Lao Gong, and ways to develop its capacity. This healing, energizing acupoint is easily accessible and ripe for nurturing. Lao Gong is the Ying and Fire point on the Fire meridian that governs for the Heart (which governs the meridian system). Itis a remarkably strong point. Being a secondary Chakra further amplifies its power.

It lifts energy as it clears excess heat & balances energy across the Fire meridians and throughout the system.
As a value added, it also calms the Spirit / Shen

You might also like to explore what happens when Fire is absorbed into Water and how moxibustion can energize your system. Moxa helps to reduce pain / inflammation while enhancing the healing and renewal of tissue. It also dries systemic dampness and generally leaves you feeling really good!

Those of you who have received moxa know just how marvelous it feels to soak up that intense, fiery heat. Those of you who haven’t might like to put it on their 2022 wish list.
Let’s talk about it when you next come in for a treatment.

SUMMER FOOD … Bitter is better

On the food front, bitter is better for the Fire Element. It supports good digestion and energy levels. Eating bitter leafy greens – rocket, radicchio and more – is a great way to enjoy the taste of Summer.

The bitter flavour cools the system, dries damp and promotes natural cleansing. Chamomile tea, for instance, works well if you are trying to sweat out a fever or manage an upset stomach.

Bitter grains are also available for the Summer menu. Quinoa in particular – warm or cooled – makes a great side dish or possibly foundation of a more substantial summer salad.

In the face of all this bitterness those sweet Summer fruits are so tempting. Why not match bitter with sweet? I’m particularly fond of these two remarkably easy salads that do just that:

Cooking Methods

Although we like to eat light when it’s hot it is important to include some cooked food in your diet. Quick grilling, toasting and stir-fry are seasonally appropriate cooking methods as is slow roasting. Nuts, vegetables, tempeh and even fruit are good candidates for these methods. You might like to try the fascinating (& bitter) green gourd featured in this just updated Bitter is Better post.

Follow the links and give yourself a helping hand this Summer,
but don’t forget to let me help you as well.

COME IN FOR A SPLENDID SUMMER SHIATSU