Let's take a closer look at “Water Up, Fire Down—keep your head cool and your belly warm,” the ideal state of energy balance in our body, which was briefly introduced in the last blog.
The Water-Fire Energies in Your Body
Energy circulation is the key to “keeping your head cool and your belly warm
.” According to the traditional, natural philosophy of the East, the energy of nature has two opposing essences: Yin and Yang
From a Yin-Yang perspective, what’s cool is Yin, and what’s warm is Yang. The properties of energy are further broken down into components commonly known as the Five Elements
: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
Our bodies have pairs of organs governing
the operations of each of these Five Elements. The kidneys control water energy, and the heart controls fire energy. Our health is determined by whether or not these two kinds of energy—water and fire—circulate in the correct direction in our bodies, thereby achieving harmony and balance.
The Natural Law of Energy Circulation
One of the most fundamental causes of energy circulation in nature is temperature difference. Energy becomes lighter and rises when heated, and it becomes denser and sinks when cooled.
The human body clearly shows this phenomenon in its relationship between circulation and health. When your body is normal, a great deal of blood flows around your abdomen, facilitating the activities of your internal organs, warming your belly, and making its temperature somewhat higher than that of your head.
As a result, energy circulation happens automatically, following the natural law by which hot things rise and cold things sink. Energy rising from your warm belly pushes water energy in your kidneys upward, cooling your head; energy coming down from your head, receiving the fire energy of the heart, sinks and heats your lower abdomen, creating a balanced cycle. In Korean, this is called Suseung Hwagang
, or “Water Up, Fire Down.”
This system of energy circulation is the foundation of all natural phenomena, not just of the human body. The sun’s hot rays descend and heat the ground and water—fire down. Water vapor rises to the sky—water up. Trees and other plants use this cycle to survive and grow. Their roots suck up the energy of water from the ground. The leaves receive the energy of fire sent down by the sun. Trees produce leaves and flowers and bear fruit this way through water-fire circulation.
The circulation of water and fire energies is a fundamental life principle of nature. All organisms are healthy when the energies of water and fire achieve good harmony in their bodies, and their life force weakens when this balance is broken
. If this principle operates smoothly in your own body, making your head cooler and your belly warmer, you can be naturally healthier.
Give Yourself the Gift of Optimal Energetic Health
When we have Water Up, Fire Down circulation, a state of energy
allowing “perfect” health is created. With all systems and organs functioning vigorously, blood and energy circulating well, our bodies overflow with vitality. Since this state facilitates brain activity, the mind is clear
, and concentration is focused. We get new, creative ideas. Emotionally
, too, we are well balanced and harmonious. In this condition, it is easy to have good relationships with ourselves, other people, and the world.
When your body maintains Water Up, Fire Down
circulation, your energy is “open,” a state in which energy flows freely, without blockages. In this condition, the best environment is created for your body and brain. This Water Up, Fire Down circulation produces a physiological state in which peak performance is possible in all areas of life—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When you feel “I’m in top condition today”—when your head is clear, your mind at peace, your body overflowing with vitality—then the energy in your body is circulating, achieving the perfect balance of water-fire circulation.
“Water Up, Fire Down—keep your head cool and your belly warm.” This is the Golden Principle for the health
of our bodies. Remember it. Write these words on a sticky note, and post it in an easily visible place. And train so this principle acts in your body, giving you the gift of optimal health.
In my new book, Water Up Fire Down: An Energy Principle for Creating Calmness, Clarity, and a Lifetime of Health, you will find detailed explanations and applications of this health principle. Learn more at WaterUpFireDown.com.