In the Western world, when we talk about energy, people think about it as an outside force. It becomes something that happens to them. At times, they feel they have energy. They might welcome the idea of getting exercise, excel at knocking out their workload, or go on a big cleaning spree in their house.
But if they lack energy, they sit on their couch, complaining about how they barely have the will to make themselves stand up to head to the kitchen to fix a snack.
But in the Eastern world, we recognize that energy isn’t only an external force that bends you to its will. Instead, it is an internal force that you have control over. That’s where water and fire energy, and their importance in our overall lives, comes in. Learning about what fire and water energy are and how to control them can put you in the driver’s seat. You’ll no longer be a victim of waning energy levels.
Understanding Fire and Water Energies
In the East, the energy of nature is comprised of yin and yang. There is the warm component, which is yang, and the cool one, which is yin. But perhaps a more comprehensive way to think about the properties of energy is what is known as the Five Elements.
The Five Elements are fire, water, earth, metal, and wood. Each element corresponds with a bodily organ. Water energy is controlled by the kidneys, while fire energy is governed by the heart. We achieve balance and good health when water and fire energies align in the right direction in the body.
How It Works
We all know that heat rises—we see this from air temperatures. Hot air rises because it expands and becomes less dense, while cold air sinks because it is denser than the warmer air. The mixture of the two—hot and cold—is powerful, as we see with tornadoes. Tornadoes are proof that hot and cold can form together to create an incredible amount of energy.
That same principle applies in the body. When your energy becomes warmer, it rises. When it becomes colder, it sinks. This is a stable state. But for the body to stay alive and work as it should, it actively needs to reverse this equilibrium.
That’s why your body has a system that lets your blood flow around your abdomen, which helps warm the belly, creating a higher temperature than your head has. This is perfect, as it creates a balanced cycle of water energy going up and cooling your head. Then, the energy from your head makes its way down to the heart, where it receives the heat it needs before it goes down to your abdomen. This phenomenon is known as Water Up, Fire Down, or as it is called in Korea, Suseung Hwagang.
When our Water Up, Fire Down circulation is working as it should, our organs function well, blood circulates as it was meant to, and we feel filled with vitality. You’ll feel like you’re at the top of your game. For that reason, we should strive to keep our heads cool and our bellies warm.
But sometimes, our Water Up, Fire Down energy flow experiences disturbances. You may also hear them referred to as blockages. That’s when you should do a little work to restore your balance.
How to Push Past Blockages
If you are feeling off, sluggish, or suspect you are experiencing reversed water-fire circulation in your body, there are things you can do to get back to peak operating condition.
- Focus on breathing deeply and slowly.
- Spend some time meditating and concentrating on the sensations of energy you feel throughout your body.
- Move your body by exercising and stretching.
- Use your mind to change your energy by paying attention to your emotions and thoughts without judging them.
Devote Some Time to Water Up, Fire Down
Now that you understand the Water Up, Fire Down principle, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Knowledge doesn’t do you any good if you don’t act on it. Try to make time daily to improve your water-fire energy circulation, and note how much better you feel as a result. It can be a life-changing concept if you fully explore it.
You can learn more about how to manage your water-fire energy flow in my book, Water Up Fire Down: An Energy Principle for Calmness, Clarity, and a Lifetime of Health.