In my previous two posts, I introduced the concept of the Five Elements, which are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. In today’s post, I will talk about the Wood Element which is the beginner of the Five Elemental cycle. Please note that the content below is for informational purposes only and is in no way is intended to be medical advice.
The Wood Element promotes growth and development
The Wood Element is an exhilarant, arousing, expansive, vigorous and vibrant energy force. Its season is spring when nature starts to bustle with new burgeoning life. As the temperature slowly arises, the faint sunlight of the winter is replaced by bright golden rays of light. This is a time for growth and development.
According to the Taoist theory of the Five Elements, the energetic force of Wood manifests in every plant and animal that undergoes the process of growth. It is the energy of Wood that transforms a tadpole into a frog and an acorn into an oak tree. It is the energy of Wood that enables plants to sprout from hard seeds and to grow thereafter.
In our lives, the Wood Element corresponds to our childhood and adolescence, when we undergo phenomenal physical, mental and emotional developments. Thanks to the energy of this element, our bodies rapidly develop muscles and we quickly adopt the behavioral patterns of society through observation and interaction. In a way, the process of growth is akin to metamorphosis. A newborn baby is transformed into a child and then an adolescent who is capable of walking, speaking and reasoning.
Like everything in the Universe, each of the Five Elements has its own Yin and Yang aspects. The Yin aspect of this element is embodied in the liver, while the Yang aspect of the element is embodied in the gall bladder. In our bodies, the Wood Element governs our eyes, tendons, nerves, nails and nervous system.
Symptoms of an unhealthy Wood Element
Those who rejoice in a healthy Wood Element are generous, tolerant, warm-hearted, creative and organizational. When this element is out of balance, it could make you prone to anger, rage and aggressive behavior. You could have a tendency to behave in an aggressive, pushy and forceful way. When you are frustrated, an outburst of rage could spring out of you. You could be easily flustered, agitated or angered. If you know of a person who easily throws tantrums and always seems to have a chip on his shoulders, remember that his bad ill-tempered personality traits could stem from an imbalance in his Wood Element. If this element were in balance, he would not be unnerved so easily.
An imbalance in this element could manifest in a self-destructive manner when it directs anger and aggressiveness inward. The suppressed anger induces sarcasm, bitterness, depression or cynicism. You could also develop the feeling of shame, guilt, humiliation or fear to be ridiculed by others.
Physically, an imbalance in this element could give rise to various problems. Symptoms of an unbalanced Wood Element include: blurred vision, dizziness, numbness of limbs, bitter taste, migraine, muscular aches and pains, muscle spasm, cramps, problems with finger nails and toenails, gallstone, tonsillitis, hernia, liver cancer or hepatitis.
Release anger and do not hold rancor
In order to keep your Wood Element in balance, it is important to release anger. Anger burdens the liver and undermines the balance of this element. Therefore, do not hold anger.
Imagine hurling a handful of sand to the gust that is sweeping in your direction. You think that you are throwing the sand outward. But the sand ends up assailing your face. Anger works in the same dynamic. When you are angry at someone, the negative emotion comes back to haunt you. Excessive and prolonged anger damages your liver, organ of the Wood Element.
Although someone may have wounded you, do not hold rancor. You can be generous with forgiveness. You can cultivate the capacity to remain centered in the face of criticism, personal attacks or insults. When you relinquish your anger, it livens up your Wood Element. When you choose love and forgiveness, it helps your Wood Element to restore its balance.