The 5 Elements

  • Are connected to the different organs of the body
  • Relate to the seasons & times of the day
  • Are connected with the forces of nature

The Five Elements relate to the seasons, and each organ of our body also relates and responds to the energy of each season.

Wood is the element of spring, when we see trees and plants that previously looked dead burst into life with a ceaseless force of creation and energy. They each know their great plan for growth. As spring approaches we often feel this force within us to get moving, spring clean and think about our plan and where we are going with our lives.

An imbalance in wood can lead us to have no plan, no growth or vision of the future, or an excessive, exhausting energy that doesn’t know when to stop, like the ivy that grows and clings to everything. This can lead to physical problems such as migraines and muscle problems. The organs associated with wood are the liver and gallbladder.

Fire is the element of the summer, when we see trees and plants producing wonderful flowers, the light changes and we too feel light and lifted and free and joyous.

An imbalance in fire can lead us to not experience the joy and love of life, or can lead us to “burn our candle at both ends” and wear ourselves out with an over abundance of joy or an unquenchable need to love and be loved. The fire organs are the heart and small intestine.

Earth relates to late summer, when the trees are heavy with fruit. It is about the fire of summer abating, and heralding the time for us to “earth” or nurture ourselves, preparing for autumn with our own harvest, a “taking stock” of our lives.

An imbalance can lead to us over nurturing others at the expense of our own well being, or conversely, selfishly hoarding everything for ourselves and being unable to give anything to others. Physically we may experience stomach or digestive problems, as the earth organs are the stomach and spleen.

Metal relates to autumn. The energy begins to turn inwards, conserving what is needed to get through the winter. Leaves turn brown and fall to the ground. If autumn doesn’t happen, if the leaves don’t fall, there can be no new growth in Spring.

An imbalance in us can lead to us getting rid of everything, things that are of value as well as things that are not, relationships, possessions etc, or a hoarding of everything good and bad which can then impede future growth. We may experience bowel, skin or respiratory problems as the metal organs are the lungs and large intestines.

Water is the element associated with winter, when energy must be conserved, trees appear dead, animals hibernate and there is a fear that the days will never be light again or new growth appear.

An imbalance can lead to excessive fear for our own survival, a feeling of being permanently stuck in the gloom and quiet of winter, or a complete lack of fear that leads us to take unnecessary risks in all aspects of our lives. Physically we may experience back or joint problems. The water organs are the bladder and kidneys.

Through regular acupuncture treatments you will begin to see which of these energies relates most to how you see yourself and live your life. As balance is restored you are able to live comfortably in each of the seasons, embracing the challenges and joys of each one. This balance will be reflected in every area of your life on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Health and well being returns and you begin to feel “in your element”.