HOLISTIC HEALTH + FIVE ELEMENT THEORY
Holistic Healthcare is defined by the term 'holistic' derived from its greek origin 'holos', meaning whole. In holistic medicine, you receive effective treatment that considers all aspects of your individual needs. Many practices of holistic healthcare include dietary and herbal remedies, relaxation and meditation, breathing exercises, stretching techniques, homeopathy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Harmonizing all parts of the whole directly leads to physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellness. Symptomatic ailments are resolved as overall balance is achieved. Ancient physicians used the Five Elements theory to study the connections between the physiology and pathology of the human body and the natural environment.
The Wood Element: Wood involves the yang aspects of growth, flourishing, and upward movement. It is represented by the movement of spring, the wind, the eastern direction, and the color green.
In Chinese Taoist thought, Wood attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, as with bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of generosity, cooperation and idealism. The Wood person is expansive, outgoing and socially conscious. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fecundity.
In Chinese medicine, wood is associated with feelings of anger, patience, and altruism. Associated with this element are the Liver and the Gall Bladder, the eyes, the tendons, and sex organs.
The Fire Element: Fire is yang in character. Its motion is upward and its energy is expansive. It is associated with the summer, the southern direction, daylight, and the color red.
In Chinese Taoist thought, Fire attributes are considered to be dynamism, strength and persistence; and it is therefore also connected to restlessness. The fire element provides warmth, enthusiasm and creativity, however an excess of it can bring aggression, impatience and impulsive behavior. Fire provides heat and warmth wherein an excess can also burn.
It is related to the Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine and 'Triple Burner' in Chinese medicine. Issues of intimacy and control belong to the Fire element, governing circulation and hormonal changes.
The Earth Element: Earth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilizing and conserving. It is associated with late summer, dampness, and the color yellow.
In Chinese thought, Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, stability, and abundance. The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. In pathology, the earth can represent selfishness and self-centeredness.
It governs the Spleen, Stomach, mouth and muscles. Its emotions include obsession, worry, and empathy.
The Metal Element: Metal is yin in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the autumnal season, the western direction, the color white, and dry weather.
In Chinese Taoist thought, Metal attributes are considered to be firmness, rigidity, persistence and determination. The metal person is controlling, ambitious, and a self-reliant individual. Metal represents material organization, stability, and luxury. Just as metal can conduct electricity, the Metal person has generative impulses and can bring about changes and transformations for those who are around them.
In Chinese Medicine, Metal governs the Lung and the Large intestine, nose and skin. The emotions associated with metal are grief and courage. Many sources equate Metal with the attributes of the element Air.
The Water Element: Water is the most yin in character of the Five elements. Its motion is downward and inward and its energy is stillness and conserving. It is associated with the winter, the northern direction, the color blue-black, and night.
In Chinese Taoist thought, Water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, utter flexibility, softness and pliancy. It is an element of deep internal meditation and regeneration. Water is often equated to the likeness of a seed with much unrealized potential. Although fluid can be thought of as weak, it also wields great power when it rushes, floods, and overwhelms the land.
Water governs the Kidney and Urinary bladder and is associated with the ears and bones. The emotions associated with water are fear and bravery.