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The Wood Element

The Wood element is one of the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Five Elements Theory is a Chinese philosophy used to describe interactions and relationships between things. The five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — are believed to be the fundamental elements of everything in the universe between which interactions occur. Wood is the fifth and final one in my ongoing series of articles about these amazing elements.

This healing element is symbolized within the body by the partnership of the liver (yin organ) and the gallbladder (yang organ), which help support your nervous system, tendons and eyesight. The guide within the liver is called the Hun, which is in charge of your dreams, creativity and inspiration. The Hun is considered your spiritual, ethereal and yang soul (the yin soul is the Po - spiritual guide of the Lungs). Its main job is as counsel to the Heart in its decision making. Therefore, it is important to maintain good liver health thereby keeping your blood clean and pure.

A sign that the liver is out of balance and therefore in need of support is the feelings of anger, frustration and jealousy in your life. We also lose our perspective on life and become easily confused. A healthy wood element is shown through compassion for yourself and others. It is about growth (like a tree) and movement towards the future with plans, organization and clarity of mind for good decision-making. People with a wood constitution (wood as their predominate element) are good leaders and teachers though not necessarily good at taking orders from others. They are very passionate about fairness and are looking to right the wrongs of the world.

A good way to support your wood element is by calming your nervous system and easing into a more relaxed state. Take time during your day to shift from your current activity and listen to some music, daydream or read something for pleasure. Ultimately, it is about allowing the mind to quiet so meditation is quite good as well.

Another way to assist your wood element to find healthy ways to release anger and frustration and not letting it come out violently or stay inside and become depression. The exercise called Punching with a Steady Gaze is a great way to lose the negative energy and support your liver at the same time. Click the link above for a video guide through the exercise.

The healing colour of the wood element is green so you can also eat leafy green vegetables to give more vitality to your liver and gallbladder. During the winter (cooler) months, it is good to steam or cook your greens to help aid the digestive system in absorbing all the nutrients.

Remember that health starts with you so be kind and compassionate to yourself….your wood element will appreciate the effort.



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