Updated: Feb 15, 2018
Traditional Chinese Medicine's (TCM) Five Element framework is ancient and universal in what it embodies. The Five Elements are deeply woven into every fabric of Chinese culture. In fact, Five Element theory is the foundation of Chinese disciplines including feng shui and the martial arts.
The Five Elements are a comprehensive template that organizes all natural phenomena into five master groups or patterns in nature.
Each of the five groups—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—include categories such as a season, a direction, climate, stage of growth and development, internal organ, body tissue, emotion, aspect of the soul, taste, color, sound . . . the categories are seemingly limitless.
Wood type people have a greenish complexion, small hands and long face with a pointed chin and wide shoulders. They are seldom overweight due to their fast-working metabolism. These people are very organised and logical. They plan things well and get frustrated if they go wrong. They are thinkers, their mind is always on the go so they tend to always be doing something. They seek challenges and push to the limit. They love action, movement and adventure and like to be the first and the best.
The emotion associated with the Wood element is anger. When anger predominates, a person becomes easily upset by frustration and obstacles and unable to appropriately restrain their feelings. They get angry easily and are prone to shouting. These unstable emotions result in the uneven circulation of Qi (energy) and Blood, creating a generalised state of tension and stress.
In traditional Chinese medicine, wood’s body organs are the liver and gallbladder. Drinking alcohol is like drinking poison for green and blue signs because alcoholic beverages heat (overstimulate) the liver and cause severe wood imbalance. Avoid greasy, fatty foods that antagonize the gallbladder.
Working with you to understand which of the five elements best defines you, is just one of the many ways Traditional Chinese Medicine is different but complimentary to Western Medicine. Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London.