The Five Elements

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Closeness to nature is important in Chinese philosophy. We are like a microcosm of the world around us. Nature inside us follows similar patterns with nature around us and we are balanced when the elements (or phases) within us are balanced. Each of our organs is assigned to an element, and within the elements we have colours, sounds, emotions, seasons, flavours etc.



WOODColour: green

Season: spring

Flavour: sour

Sound: shouting

Emotion: anger

Organs: Liver and Gall Bladder


People with a strong energy in the Wood element are motivated, organised and decisive. They have clear vision and a plan they are motivated to follow.


Common Wood imbalance manifestations: tendon, nail or eye problems, menstrual problems in women, migraine headaches.


On a Wood level, a person needs to calm down, relax and not deplete themselves. Ideally they should be more in control of their anger without suppressing it.



FireColour: red

Season: summer

Flavour: bitter

Sound: laughing

Emotion: joy

Organs: Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine, Three Heater


People with a strong Fire energy are charismatic, naturally tactile and flirtatious. They love to socialise and are great communicators.


Common manifestations of imbalances in the Fire element are: anxiety, insomnia, stammer, nervous or excessive laughter, or miserable at the other extreme.


On a Fire level, a person needs to be able to make heart connections and have satisfactory relationships.



EarthColour: yellow

Season: late summer

Flavour: sweet

Sound: singing

Emotion: joy

Organs: Spleen and Stomach


People with strong Earth energy are grounded, compassionate and nurturing, good friends and great hosts, who like to prepare and enjoy food.


Common manifestations of imbalances in the Earth element are: digestive problems, bloating, eating disorders, excessive worrying, addictions or repressed needs.


On the Earth level, a person needs nourishment, physical and emotional support, mental clarity, routine, to feel grounded and centered.




Colour: white

Season: autumn

Flavour: acrid

Sound: weeping

Emotion: grief

Organs: Lung and Large Intestine


People with strong Metal energy have a deep inner strength and are well organised and disciplined. They thrive on structures and rules.


Common manifestations of imbalances in the Metal element are: rashes, eczema, asthma, allergies, frequent colds, constipation or diarrhoea, excessive grief.


On a Metal level, a person needs acknowledgement, recognition and respect, and where applicable, help to let go or deal with loss.




Colour: black

Season: winter

Flavour: salty

Sound: groaning

Emotion: fear

Organs: Kidneys and Bladder


People with strong Water energy are strong, fearless, free spirits, who can  endure hardships in pursuit of their goals and work around obstacles easily.


Common Water imbalances are: problems with urination, fertility and sexuality, lower back pain, dark circles under the eyes, ear problems, hot flushes, anxiety, phobias.


On a Water level, a person needs reassurance, reliability and help with ways to rest, relax and recuperate and to dissociate from their fears.


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