The Fire Element#1

The fire element manifests in the human body in four ways. 

It is different to the other elements which only have two manifestations in our bodies.  Two manifestations of the fire element have rough western equivalents, two have little equivalent in western medicine.

The four manifestations of the fire element in the human body are: the heart, the small intestine, the pericardium and the triple heater (sometimes called the triple burner, triple warmer or even the three burning spaces.  The chinese name, the san jiao, is also sometimes used).

A brief digression on the small intestine and triple heater channels.  These are two of the three arm yang channels (the other one is the Colon – sometimes called the Large Intestine – channel).  These points on these channels are rarely used to affect the organs they are named the same as.  This is strange but ‘just one of those things’.

The hearts controls the flow of blood throughout the body.  The traditional saying is that:

the heart rules the blood (and the vessels it flows in).

The small intestine separates the pure from the impure.  This applies to both bodily fluids and the judgements we make about our experience.

The pericardium has the job of protecting the heart (it is sometimes called the ‘heart protector’).  We westerners speak of opening our hearts or being closed, in acupuncture these are the functions of the pericardium.  

The triple heater is both a division of the body into three and the distributor of fluids throughout the body.  The three body divisions are the upper heater (concerned with respiration and being above the diaphragm – heart and lungs), middle heater (concerned with digestion and being in the middle of trunk – spleen and stomach (and perhaps liver and gall bladder)), and lower heater (concerned with elimination and being located below the navel – the kidney, bladder and colon).

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