Chinese Medicine, The Five Elements and You
By: Nena Watkins, Lac, Licensed Acupuncturist
We are a part of nature. As humans, we resonate with the Earth, the seasons, the Moon, and each other. The ancient Chinese categorized the world around them according to the five elements. As part of the world, people also function according to the law of the Five Elements. We operate like nature, in nature and because of nature. The five elements are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. It is important for our bodies to be in balance with these five elements to remain healthy and happy.
The season associated with the fire element is summer. It is the fire element that connects us to others, in the moment and in relationships. The organ is the Heart. When fire is high we can be hot with passion. When Fire is low, we can feel disconnected from others, lonely.
The season is harvest time. The Earth element is about digestion. How we assimilate that which gives us nourishment. It is feeling at home. Just as issues of dampness can cause the soil to be less productive in growing crops, issues of dampness can cause bloating, nausea, joint pain, and worry in people.
The season associated with the metal element is autumn and the organ is the Lungs. Metal has issues of dryness, including the skin, a cough or sinuses. The metal element determines value and inspiration. Our bodies as our Temples. Disappointment to gratefulness. Is it worth it?
The season for the water element is winter. Issues can be of back pain, knee pain, anxiety, and urinary problems. Water holds our potential, our power. It is fight or flight, and it is faith in (or fear of) the unknown. Water is useful when it flows, when it gets too cold it freezes. Have you ever been frozen with fear?
The season of the wood element is spring and the organ is the Liver. Wood is birth, growth and vision. It is creativity and seeing a new perspective. It is how we move in the world. We can have issues that keep us from moving or cause uncontrollable movement. These include, but are not limited to, neck pain, hip pain, trembling, frustration and an explosive temper. Have you ever been so mad, you couldn’t see straight?
The five elements operate in us, the same as they operate in nature. Out of balance, the wind can blow us into frustration, we can feel the lack of warmth from love lost, or grief of a passed loved one. The energy can linger producing, chronic migraines; tummy aches or sciatic pain; depression; or sinus problems. Too much heat, cold, dampness, dryness, or wind can affect us the same as they affect the crops that nourish us as food. They can damage us! When the elements are balanced in our bodies though, we feel like a beautiful, perfect day!
Contact Nena Watkins:
Nena Watkins, Licensed Acupuncturist, practices at Oak Cliff Acupuncture clinic in Dallas. She has been studying and practicing Classical Five Element Acupuncture for years. Please contact Nena at her clinic if you would like to schedule an appointment and learn more about the health and nature of your own elements.
Oak Cliff Acupuncture
208 S. Madison Avenue
Bishop Arts District
Dallas, TX 75208