The Five elements are a conceptual framework to understanding the human body and the relationship we have with the macrocosms (world outside of us) and microcosms (world within ourselves). The Five Elements move medicine from the realm of the unexplained to a place of observing nature within our own body. In doing this we can move to a place of health by working with the natural order of the universe.
One of the core precepts of working with the Five Elements is the observation of the seasons. Each element has a corresponding season:
Metal = Autumn
Water = Winter
Wood = Spring
Fire = Summer
Earth = A time of transitions between seasons (or Indian Summer – hottest part)
Each season and subsequently the elements are associated with particular qualities. These qualities are intertwined and while considered separate from each other ultimately form the whole. One season moves into the next to form a picture of the year.
Using the Five Elements we gain an appreciation of disease created in the body and the management of these diseases to promote healing. The physiological relationship of the elements is important for keeping balance of the other. It is in noting this that we move from a massage session such as Shiatsu just band aiding the symptoms to a comprehensive treatment that repairs the root cause of the problem.
The original model of the Five Elements recognised the Earth Element as being at the very centre of the relationship. The Earth Element is responsible for nourishing and supporting all the other elements. Being at the centre the Earth Element is the communicator between all the elements and therefore we see it as supporting the transition between the seasons. When Earth Element is imbalanced the impact on the entire body is felt. The body cannot support itself when the Earth Element is unstable and meridians, organs and the body systems do communicate effectively resulting in disease physically and emotionally.
Each element flows seamlessly into the other when Earth is in balance. We note that wood flows into fire, fire moves through earth which flows onto metal, metal generates the water and water nourishes the wood.
As the elements correspond with the seasons we can observe that imbalances of the elements may be aggravated at certain times of the year. It’s not uncommon for the water element to be disrupted during winter resulting in an inability for a natural flow of existence to occur within our body. In fact we are more likely to want to huddle into our houses, rug up and not move as much in winter. If our water element is not balanced this desire is more likely aggravated resulting in loss of the will to leave the house and a building sense of dread and fear. We may also experience symptoms of burn out from over action and this may go onto affect us physically. Issues with urination, coldness in hands and feet, hair loss and even lower back pain could be acerbated in winter.
Imbalances in an element are oftentimes more prevalent during the corresponding season and will have specific signs that point to the root cause of the problem. Of course imbalances are not always easy to detect when we are so disconnected from our body.
In many causes clients will only consult a practitioner when in crisis. They have had a cascade of symptoms over a long period of time and may have already seen numerous doctors and practitioners before consulting a practitioner versed in Five Elements theory.
Regular self-care in the form of massage and yoga can be highly beneficial in support early detection of element imbalances and may even prevent imbalances from advancing to a point of disease.
Life is constantly about finding the harmony within our body while living in the external world. I believe that regular activities involving massage, movement and meditation with a mindful attitude can support a connection on the macrocosmic and microcosmic level. We need to find the harmony in both and shiatsu, yoga, exercise and meditation have helped me personally. Now I want to share that with you.
If you are ready to learn more contact me for your complimentary chat on how I can help you regain balance, find your happiness in life and remain healthy.