TCM: The elements


In my practice, I like to incorporate the elements from Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps narrow down the complaints to specifics, and allows for helpful tips to restore balance to the body and mind.

There are 5 elements; wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each represents a season, emotion, certain organs and time in life.




Wood is the first element. It represents birth, childhood, new life, and growth. The season connected to wood is spring – the time that new life grows from the earth. The emotion wood represents is anger, and it is linked to the liver and gallbladder.

The liver makes sure there’s a balanced energy, regulates your chi/ki, and ensures there’s enough quality blood when balanced. It’s connected to the eyes, muscles and tendons, which is where you might experience symptoms if your wood element is not balanced.

If you recognize yourself in these complaints, your wood element might be off balance:

  • Headache or migraine
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fragile nails
  • Dry or teary eyes
  • Hay fever
  • Too much or too little blood loss while menstruating & PMS
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • A stubborn or non flexible mindset
  • Gallstones
  • Pain in the hips
  • Anger management issues (temper)

It’s possible these symptoms get worse around wood season (spring).

If you want to help bring your wood element back into balance, there’s a couple things you can do yourself;

  • Go on a detox (Resium is great)
  • Avoid alcohol, fatty foods, sugar and coffee
  • Avoid spicy food and garlic
  • Eat sour foods like citrus fruits
  • Try some breathing exercises for the liver
  • Meditation
  • Try coaching or therapy to face your (repressed) anger
  • Reiki
  • Wear green or surround yourself with green (like houseplants)

With wood imbalance it can be especially nice to get some extra reiki or coaching sessions to get to the root of the problem.

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