Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Anger, irritability, over-competitiveness, frustration, judging others or ourselves, hate and jealousy, insomnia coupled with whirling, fast thoughts and general over-thinking are a few of the ways our mind shows us that our internal fire is out of balance. This may be displayed through our behaviour or we may internalise these emotions. Our physical body may show us signs of excess fire through skin inflammations, heartburn and infections. We may see redness, swelling and feel burning sensations in our skin and joints or any part of our body. We may experience sensitive, hot skin, hives, eczema, heartburn, allergies, throbbing headaches or migraines with pressure and light sensitivity or suffer from tonsillitis, cystitis, bursitis and conjunctivitis. Loose stools, ulcers, cold sores and acne are also signs of excess fire in our body.
Fire is a necessary component of the universe and of our body. The sun is predominantly made up of the fire element and so am I. The sun, known as Surya in Sanskrit is one of the universes tools, crucial to us for growth and destruction. The fire within all of us is responsible for the digestion (metabolism and transformation) of the food we put in, and by food I mean everything that enters our body through our five senses (vision, touch, taste, smell and hearing), the body and mind work hard to digest everything we put in. When, for example, the fire is too high in the mind (as a result of over-thinking and mental stress), the fire element cannot function properly anywhere in our body and this affects our whole system. It can cause many health problems but I’ll share more about this in another post. Needless to say, fire (as with all our elements) is crucial to the healthy balance of our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Excess fire can cause us to be domineering and controlling, we may display aggression and/or obsessive behaviour. Maybe we’re workaholics, or addicted to high adrenaline or high energy activities, we’re fixated on our way and when things get in the way of our way, we are quick to anger. In this state we find it difficult to accept the opinions of others or even see the view point of others. We can be sarcastic, cruel and impatient with those around us and these imbalanced characteristics further exacerbate high fire.
If we are experiencing any of these symptoms of high fire, which are more common in hot weather and high stress situations, we can use our diet to restore natural balance to our physical, mental and spiritual being. Firstly, we need to cool down by taking a cool shower or bath, applying a cold compress to the head and rose water directly to the skin to soothe and calm it. Avoiding direct exposure to the sun and heat, eating a cooling and nourishing diet (e.g. rice, dal, watermelon, cucumber, cauliflower, courgettes, rice) and avoiding heating food (e.g. sugar, caffeine, alcohol, chilli, spices, tomato, onions, garlic, eggplant, cheese, meat- and any food that has been produced with violence) will all help to reduce the excess fire within us. Violence is another fire aggravating behaviour or emotion, so keep your sensory impressions pure and calm. Cleanse your sensory field with relaxing walks in nature, calming music, swimming in natural water or visualising bodies of natural water, meditation and gentle, grounding yoga asana. It’s beneficial to avoid getting very hungry and to use mindfulness and meditation to manage daily stress and to prevent stress from carrying over from one day to the next. All arguments and argumentative behaviour should be avoided and the art of letting go should be cultivated. Any kind of over-activity of the physical, mental or spiritual body will be fire increasing and therefore is not advisable. A good daily routine is absolutely crucial.
Fire attracts fire, and fire increases fire, so we need to calmly resist the urges the high fire will give us to take in more fire. A long-term imbalance of fire disturbs the other elements in the body, just like we see with our universe, and can lead to conditions such as burn-out or nervous breakdown, heart attack, peptic ulcer, rheumatoid and reactive arthritis, gout, appendicitis, bl