Saturday, January 29, 2011

Five Element Theory and Relationships

In the last newsletter we learned about the 5 elements and the organ systems associated with each element. (if you missed the first article you can look on the right sidebar for a link)

This month we look at how each organ is assigned a set 'relationships'. Each organ has a time of day when it functions optimally, and a season of the year when it is most affected by the environment. This means  that if a problem occurs during those hours or during that season, it will alert you to an imbalance that you can address before it becomes serious - don't worry - we'll be giving some actual examples in a bit.

There are specific emotions, colors, times, body parts and foods (as well as others) for each organ. Below is a chart that will help you understand.

Elements/Organs and their relationships









Body Part


laugh joy heat summer 11am-3pm scorched millet, mutton,
ears perspiration tongue
song sympathy humid late summer 7am-11am sickly sweet rice, millet, beef,
mouth saliva muscles
METALLung Large
weeping grief dry autumn 3am-7am rotten rice,
nose mucous skin
WATER Kidney Bladder groaning fear cold winter 3pm-7pm putrid barley, beans, peas, pork ears saliva bones, teeth, urinary
WOOD Liver Gall Bladder shout anger windy spring 11pm-3am rancid wheat, chicken,
eyes tears tendons, ligaments,
nails, genitals

OK - now let's look at a real situation - see if you can tell which element is out of balance.

Fido is a dog with itchy red eyes (always worse in the spring), he barks loudly and lunges at the mailman angrily, his skin has rancid odor, he loves a treat of your leftover pasta and he wakes up scratching at 1 am. Lots of clues here - look at the chart.

Well... did you guess which element is out of balance? If you guessed Wood, very good!! This is a liver problem - the dog is displaying all the symptoms of  wood imbalance. Looking at the 'totality' of the symptoms we would address the liver through diet and pressing some of the liver points on his body (more of this later) - diet and acupressure moves the 'stuck' energy and gets it flowing again. The goal here is to ward off trouble by observing symptoms and then making corrections when it's easy to do. If we took Fido to the vet, nothing would show up on any 'tests' - but we all know instinctively that something is out of balance.

One more example (not as many clues this time!) - Molly vomits after breakfast, but not after dinner.

In this case the time is the main clue - consult the chart and see what you think. Earth?? Right! We would look at the spleen/pancreas/stomach. Stay with us - more and more will come together.

In our next installment we will look at the FIVE CONSTITUTIONS. Building on the relationships we will see certain 'types' emerge and the imbalances that normally go with each constitution.