In Chinese Medicine, everyone is either Earth, Fire, Wood, Water or Metal. Ever heard of the Five Elements? So, which one are you?
Wood As One of the Five Elements
EARTH: if you’re more attracted to sweets or pasta, bread or starchy foods, you’ve got an Earth imbalance. What on earth is that? It seems to say, if I refer myself to the Energetics Approach course, that the body in that case is cut off from its emotions.
FIRE: according to that same course, the element of Fire is linked to a desire for spicy food, which is due to an emotional state of apathy (when you don’t really care about others) or the opposite (when you’re too focused on others.)
WATER: desire for salty foods or chips because of the overwhelming presence of fear, dread and panic.
WOOD: that person really likes fat-filled dishes, fried food and alcohol. The underlying emotional imbalance here is related to anger and frustration.
METAL: a strong desire for dairy products and starchy foods, with the emotion of sadness (feeling of being separated or abandoned).
What else do we know about wood, from Chinese medicine?
Well, we can connect wood to the following:
- Its “season” is spring,
- the emotion associated with wood as we saw is anger,
- Sour is the taste that corresponds to its energy
- The organs linked to wood are: liver and gall bladder
- Wood = Green
- The cardinal point associated with it is the East.
The Psychology of the Wood Personality
Wood exemplifies the energy of growth, change, and pushing through It is a very active energy that allows for a lot of movement and progress, both internally and externally. In Spring, we may have more energy to get moving on projects, hence the classic “spring cleaning.” It is a good time of year to work on any blockages. We want to get things moving so we can have access to all that great energy. Spring is a time of action, change and rebirth.
On the other side, when thwarted or constrained, wood is also the energy of frustration, anger and stress. Like the Wood element, anger can make us hard and unbendable – like the tree that snaps in a strong wind instead of swaying So what can we learn from the Wood element? The key here is flexibility. If we hold ourselves too rigidly, we will break and crumble. If we are too loose and wobbly, like a badly rooted tree, there is no growth and real potential for change.
So, the healthy balance is to remain flexible but engaged. Because the Wood element exemplifies the energy of growth, it is also about vision, planning and decision making, essential for creative change. Try to be assertive (not angry), flexible (not rigid), and remain engaged with our eyes on the important people and projects in our life.
Let’s learn from the Wood person to combine new future possibilities with the wisdom of the past and, as a result, are able to see the clear and appropriate course to take.
*** thanks for Jennifer Dubowsky’s input for that last part of the post.
Which Food for Wood?
Which food should you choose in case of wood imbalance?
- Grains: Oats, Wheat, Rye
- Legumes: Green Lentil, Mung, Lima
- Nuts/Seeds: Brazil, Cashew
- VegetableS: Green Bell Pepper, Green Pea, Lettuce, String Bean, Zucchini (so basically everything green, like the color of the Wood element)
- Fruits: Avocado, Grape, Lemon, Lime, Plum
- Caution: Soft Dairy
Sour (Wood) foods are generally cooling (yin) and encourage energy to contract and collect.
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