The Five Element Theory

The Five Element Theory

The Five Element Theory

The Five Element Theory

Spring: The Season of Renewal ~ The Element of Wood

We welcome spring, rejoicing in the longer days and the vision of growth and rebirth after the depth and introspection we experienced in winter. The seeds planted last autumn that germinated over the winter become buds beginning to break through the frozen earth, and signs of renewal and hope start to stir within us; the seeds of change that we planted within ourselves now push through with the new energy we feel. A sense of renewal gives us the vision and inspiration to bring our goals and creative energy to fruition.

The WOOD element corresponds to the Liver (Yin organ) and Gall Bladder (yang organ) meridian systems as well as vision, the color green, and the emotions of anger and self-assertion.

People who have a strong energy of the Wood element have a clear vision and goals and know how to bring them into being. They excel at planning and decision making. They can be forceful in disagreements and can strongly argue their opinions. Their piercing, penetrating eyes may attract you but avoid their wrath.

When the wood Qi is weak, people can be indecisive, without strong direction in life, and stuck. They may be constrained emotionally, unable to express anger. When the Liver Qi is congested or stagnant, people can be arrogant, over-controlling, and have angry dispositions. They may have a tendency to be workaholics or have addictive personalities, including the possibility of abusing drugs and alcohol. They may have digestive problems like bloating, gas, alternating constipation, and diarrhea.

The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming – of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life. Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.


The emotion associated with the element of Wood is anger. In its balanced state, anger can be a healthy emotion, for it can be understood as a The Five Element Theorynatural reaction to stress, frustration, or injustice. When expressed with careful control, anger acts like a thunderstorm that clears the air; controlled anger can dispel tension and restore balance. An imbalance in Wood, however, often has the quality of out-of-control anger, and results either in excess or depletion. An excess, or pent-up quality of Wood, expresses itself as “quick to anger,” prone to volatile outbursts, irritability, and the tendency to judge others too quickly or harshly. The converse, deficient Wood, often expresses itself as difficulty dealing with anger at all. Swallowing your anger, you become anxious, irritable, and tend to blame yourself when things go wrong.

According to the website where I got this information, as beautiful and welcome as spring is, in these early months of spring, people may be experiencing intense feelings of irritability, often accompanied with anxiety and depression. Statements like, “Everyone else seems so happy, yet I feel jumpy and frustrated; something is wrong with me!” are common. Statistically, the suicide rate in spring is the highest of all the seasons (with the exception of the week between Christmas and New Year.)

How to Keep Healthy and Joyful During Spring


The Liver needs movement and so do you; so get outside and take long walks in nature, observe the changes going on all around you, and invite change in. Join an exercise or yoga class.

Recreate Order Out of Chaos:

Go through your home and office and get rid of stuff that you donʼt need; have a garage sale or give it away and create the space for the new to come in. Allow new things into your life. Imagine what you would like to create in your life and find ways to make plans to actuate these dreams.

As Without, So Within:

Spring is the time to start a healthier diet and flush out the toxins so that the Liver can do its job more effectively. Begin by eliminating foods that stress the Liver, such as fried or very fatty foods. Sugar and white flour should be eliminated or minimized, and foods with chemical preservatives and food coloring should be avoided. Donʼt overeat. Try to eat slowly, savoring the flavors. Enjoy the abundance of fresh foods that are beginning to come to market.

Let Go of Old Resentments and Start Fresh:

Grudges and resentments are indigestible and can do damage to Liver energy. Practice forgiveness.

Take a Risk and Try Something New:

Think of what you would like to try, even if it seems silly or scary. The small, delicate sprout would never know its potential if it stayed safe within its seed…begin sprouting and be playful.

hydrateHydrate Your Body:

Drink eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water daily. Use filtered water, not carbonated. Adding some lemon juice gives it a nice taste, and lemon nourishes the Liver.



SPRING: The Season of Renewal; the element of Wood « Five…

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