What does your body want you to know – five element theory #1
During the time that I studied crystal therapy and naturopathic nutrition, I was introduced to five element theory. In both of these courses we touched the surface and I cannot claim to be an expert, this is an ongoing journey. A journey which fascinates me and one which I know over time will provide me with further insights. What I have done is use what I know as a starting point and as a guide to research further when I want to know what my body is trying to tell me.
The way in which I work is to explore and research. After which I write and reflect. Following a period of reflection, I ask is that true for me? It is never as simple as accepting what I read or have been told. More a matter of accumulating shared wisdom and then tapping into my wisdom to find answers and creating a way forward.
Chinese medicine, which five element theory belongs to, treats patterns and not conditions. A practitioner (such as an acupuncturist) will look at the face, tongue, pulse, odour as well as voice when answering questions to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan. It takes many years to learn how to practice this amazing medicine. Acupuncturists for example, typically study for three years at masters level. It is a vast subject. Despite that, we can use it simply to try and understand what our body is saying to us.
Five element overview
Five element theory is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a diagnostic tool which can be used in many different ways. The underlying theory is based on nature. It looks at our natural cycles and the interrelationships between us and our environment. Hence, each of the points are elemental, have a season, direction, sound, smell, sense, organ, emotion, colour, etc.
The cycles can be generating which means the way in which each element, acting as a mother would promote the growth and development of the following child element. Or they are controlling, bringing in checks and balances. Which together creates a harmonious system.
Five element organs and times
Each of the organs has a time and an emotion attached. From what I have learned, which is as I have said more of an overview, it gives me a signpost. Let’s say, for example, if I were to wake up at 3.15am every day, then I would look at my chart which would tell me that this is connected to lungs and grief. The areas that I would explore are my emotions around sadness. Do I need to get this out with a good cry? What might help me is to go walking and get some good air in and practice pranayama. As ever, journal and reflect.
Let’s say for example I were to wake up at 3.15am every day; then I would look at my chart which would tell me that this is connected to lungs and grief. The areas that I would explore are my emotions around sadness. At this time, the lungs are expelling toxic waste. Ask, do I need to get this out with a good cry? What would help is to go walking and get some good air in and practice pranayama. Always journal and reflect.
Try this simple exercise
Think about your sleeping patterns, emotions, areas of your body that you are feeling something in, your digestive system and your life in general
- Look at the charts and write down the times of day you perhaps feel out of sorts
- Next, consider the organs and their associated emotion
- What comes up for you?
- Journal and reflect
- What did you discover?