06/25/2012 08:14 am ET | Updated Aug 25, 2012

Are You a Fire Type? Plus: Tips for How to Stay Healthy This Summer

Summer is officially upon us. You may be noticing yourself having more energy, feeling more social, or experiencing all-around better moods. This is normal for this time of year, when, from an acupuncture perspective, the yang -- extroverted, lively, enthusiastic, active -- aspects of a person are at their peak.

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Weather and climate, particularly during the transition from one season to another, factor significantly into diagnoses and treatment plans. Each season is linked with a natural element, organ and emotion.

The element, organ and emotion of summer are, respectively, Fire, heart and joy. So, how does this influence the way we feel in summertime?

Do You Like to Play With Fire?

How we feel during summer is largely determined by our constitutional expression of the Fire element.

We all know people who can run around on 90-degree days with plenty of energy to spare. Often, these people are high-energy, charismatic, communicative, optimistic and alert. They have a playful attitude, enjoy intimacy, and are quick to connect with others. This is the profile of a Fire-type person.

Then there are those people who constantly complain about the heat, and spend June through September feeling lethargic and fatigued. They may be perceived as selfish, distant and introverted, becoming easily overwhelmed by too much socialization or noise. This is the profile of someone with an under-expressed or deficient Fire element.

The acupuncture perspective on seasons is that during each season, the associated element should shine a bit brighter than it does in other seasons. So for example, in summer, Fire qualities tend to be more strongly expressed.

Over the next three months, it's normal to feel an extra pep in your step. You should feel a bit happier, freer, more spontaneous, energetic and connected. You should want to stay up a little later, talk a little longer and run a little farther.

If you're someone who tends toward under-expression of the Fire element, you'll want to pay extra attention to encouraging these qualities in yourself throughout summer.

However, if you're a Fire type, someone for who Fire qualities come naturally -- or perhaps have a tendency to be overpowering -- your focus should be on appreciating these things but remembering to keep them in check. Elemental qualities can more easily become excessive during the time when they are naturally in bloom.

Here are seven acupuncture-inspired pointers for maintaining a balanced Fire element, and staying happy and healthy, all summer long.

Happy & Healthy All Summer Long

The driving principles behind all of these tips are awareness and balance. Know that summer is a time to allow your Fire element to flourish while remaining mindful that the flames, for some, may need to be tamed. With that, happy summer!

For more articles on how acupuncture can help you lead a healthier, simpler, more meaningful life, visit AcuTake, the only non-professional publication dedicated exclusively to acupuncture.

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