- The five elements -

In Chinese medicine, achieving balance in the mind, body and spirit can be attained by honouring the earth’s five elements.

This post provides a snapshot of the elements along with five practices you can use to restore them to balance in your body.

Fire – the element of the heart and small intestine, which allows us to experience the joys of life.  When out of balance, it is difficult to feel our own joy.

Earth – the element of our stomach and spleen, the organs that keep us grounded. This element also balances our digestive system. When out of balance, it is difficult to digest life in all its forms.

Metal – the element of the lungs and large intestine. Finding balance in these areas allows us to inhale life and exhale sadness and grief.

Water – the element of our kidneys, urinary tract and bladder. When balanced, we connect to life force and willpower. When out of balance, the body experiences fear.

Wood – the element of our liver and gall bladder. When wood is balanced we feel ordered and in control of our everyday lives and future. Gall bladder balance is important for decision making.  When out of balance, indecision is common.

Harmonising each of these elements can bring an immediate sense of wellbeing as well as provide a long term state of health. This is because each element asks you to consider and look after your emotional wellbeing, your physical wellbeing and – in the case of the Wood element – the decisions and choices you make in your life.

There are five practices you can use to create and restore balance:

  1. Acupuncture can restore balance effectively. A course of 4-8 treatments is recommended with a registered practitioner
  2. Eat foods that are grown locally and in season
  3. Each day, drink a litre of water for every 30kg of your body weight  (e.g. If you weigh 60kg, drink 2 litres of filtered water a day or if you weigh 85kg, drink 2.5 litres)
  4. Move your body – activity will help to release and stabilise your emotions and it also generates feel-good chemicals to improve and balance your mood
  5. Meditate. It has been scientifically proven that meditation can improve the way your body deals with emotion and stress. Physiologically, it improves your body’s capacity to restore and heal

Balancing the five elements of Chinese medicine to achieve balance within yourself involves stepping back and looking at your life. It involves setting reasonable goals and taking positive action towards harmonising  your emotional, physical, social, financial and spiritual wellbeing. Working with a holistic health practitioner will help you achieve this.

Post by: Dr. Carolina Gonzalez (TCM)