Finding Balance in the Fire Element... Can You Have Too Much Joy?

In Chinese medicine, and frankly in our lives, internally and outwardly, we are always seeking balance. As the Fire Element is already the most yang of all of the 5-Elements, meaning the most active, robust, and the most heat related element, and its natural movement is up, it naturally makes sense to balance this by remaining cool and grounded. Let’s keep that fire from flaring up too high my friends.

Excess heat or movement, can lead to too much yang energy and you may become too excitable, too hot, too fast! Flushed face, spontaneous sweating, especially in the head and neck area, heart palpitations or racing heart, feeling a little feverish… These are some signs of excess heat.

Because fire has a tendency to flare up and get out of control, this may lead to hyperactivity, anxiety, insomnia, scattered, unfocused thinking, and even mania.

Did you know that an imbalance of the fire element can manifest as too much JOY, or excess laughter… not just any laughter though, it’s more like that inappropriate laughter that seems awkward in some social situations… you know the type, right?

Here is a reminder of some of the balanced characteristics of the Fire Element





Mental Acuity








From a Chinese medicine perspective, when we observe conditions that are “out of balance”, we are discerning to see if this state is a condition that is an excess or deficiency. What does that even mean, good question.

Think of it this way for now… 

An excess condition will likely manifest as hyper-functioning, while a deficiency condition will manifest as hypo-functioning. More on that in another post.

So, what does an excess fire element look like?

Energy (qi) dynamics: Qi raises and disperses and can look like:











inability to concentrate


Inappropriate laughter

Palpitations or racing heart

flushed and/or red face

red tip of tongue

This seems intense... What should you do? Good question... We need to calm that shiz down!! So let’s find some essential oils and acupuncture points to descend qi, clear heat, and calm that damn crazy busy mind already.

A good place to start? You can choose:

Vetiver or Patchouli

I like acupuncture point Kidney 1 (KI 1) for this function

So what about when the Fire Element expresses as a deficiency situation? Well my friend, here's what that may look like: 

Lack of joy

Unrelenting sadness

Inability to find joy in most any aspect of life

Dull affect

Poor focus

Mental fatigue

Poor memory

Lack of connection

Chronic Procrastination

Disturbing dreams

Mental confusion (muddled mind)

Low sexual desire – loss of intimacy

Face pale & dull

Pale tongue

Now, when we see these signs and symptoms, what do you think we need to do? That's right, we need to spark or ignite some fire! How do we do that?

Raise qi, warm, and lift the mind

Eucalyptus essential oil can help fan the flame.

Essential oils such as Clove, Cinnamon, and Ginger help things heat up a bit

This fire element can have a tendency to dysregulate pretty easily. It can have a push pull effect. One can present with over joy excess, then crash, withdraw and have more of a flatness… have you ever seen this in anyone, or even yourself. This can be acute or chronic.

Here are some overall great points to use Fire Element Balancing oils on. Remember from our previous post, The Fire elements relates to the heart organ and meridian systems in TCM.

Here is an additional tip and exercise to help you balance that fire element. 

  1. Grab Ylang Ylang or Rose Essential oil and gently hold on CV 17, over your heart.
  2. Keep your heart open – Another meridian and organ associated with the fire element is the pericardium. In Chinese medicine the pericardium’s job is to protect the king, the heart, and the kingdom. It acts like a gate that surrounds and protects the heart always knowing what to allow in. Unfortunately, through circumstances such as heartbreak or trauma, the gate can start looking like Fort Knox. The wall gets thicker and thicker, and the locks on the gate get bigger and bigger.

If you’re feeling your heart closed off to love and joy do something to work on trying to soften it. Here is a heart-opening technique that you can easily try at home; it’s one of my favorites.

  • Lie on your back with your arms stretched to the side in T formation.
  • You can splay your knees apart with knees bent and feet together or simply stretch your legs out in any comfortable position.
  • As you begin your slow inhalation, imagine a warm ray of sunlight streaming directly into your heart.
  • As you begin your slow, long exhalation, send that warm energy back out to the universe, or out through your arms, through your hands. On the next exhale, you can send that warm heart energy out through your legs and feet. Your choice, see what feels best to you.
  • You can also choose to use a mantra where you inhale the word "peace" and exhale the word "love", or whatever resonates with you.

Do this for a minimum of 3-5 minutes, or as long as you like. You will really begin to feel your heart soften and allow love in.

Which essential oil will you use first over CV17? Share below or in our FB group.

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