Chinese Medicine: the five elements

In Chinese medicine, we refer to the five elements. These are five elements from natural medicine. One by one connected to a season, organs, emotions and patterns. In this article, you can read more about what the five elements are and when the seasons occur. But also how you can create balance in these elements.

What are the five elements, and when are the seasons?

The five elements are based on nature. They each take place at a different time of the year. You can read below what the elements are and when the seasons take place.

Wood element

The wood element is connected to the spring. In this season we awaken. Nature awakens. Your energy can be directed outward again.

What actions do you want to take for yourself? What do you want to grow in? Those are questions you can ask yourself this season. What we also often see during this season of spring is that people feel the body that they can actually move. Walking in nature is nice. But yoga and breath work can also be effective. We often see complaints of imbalance in the hips, psoas and pelvic area. This area may move. Emotions such as anger and frustration are stored in this. But if there is sufficient movement and flow, these areas feel spacious and energetic.

Fire element

The fire element is associated with summer. The energy is completely yang and directed outward. Nature is in full bloom. There is a lot going on in nature. People are much outgoing. Living from your heart is central to this. But also attracting your tribe.

This season is all about Joy and Pleasure.

You can do heart openers and yang forms of yoga during this season. Or other active sports.

Earth element

The earth element is central to the late summer season. This is also known as the harvest season. During late summer, you can see nature slowly turning ‘inside’ again. The last bloom is present and what may be harvested is harvested. For us as human beings, this season is all about finding grounding in yourself. Back to your own nature and where you feel ‘safe’ in yourself.

Breath work, yoga and meditation are methods with which you can find grounding in yourself. But nature also brings a lot of space to ground. Walking, swimming and relaxing in nature will bring you back to your core.

The focus in the earth element is also on the pelvic area. Where the root chakra is located. Your base. Grounding your breathing in your body is the most important foundation to find grounding in yourself. My Online Breathe Better Program (in Dutch) can help you with this.

Metal element

In the fall, we move on to the metal element. This element is all about letting go. During this season, we turn inwards into the yin energy. Just like nature lets go of its leaves, we as humans also let go of what no longer suits us. The emotion of sadness is central to this. In this element, we look at the lung and large intestine meridians.

Exercises in which you create breathing space can therefore be effective in balancing the metal element. Think of breathing exercises or yin yoga poses.

Water element

In winter, we return in deep silence. The water element. Still waters run deep. This element is associated with kidney and bladder energy. During this season, nature is also in complete tranquility. We humans can also look for the silence in ourselves during this season. You can do this with yin yoga, for example.

In my online yin & fascia therapy course (in Dutch), we work on the deeper connective tissue. Releasing emotions and physical blockages through deep yin stretches and stimulation with massage balls. This training is based on the elements and meridians from Chinese Medicine and the fascia lines from science. A deeply relaxed journey in which you grant your body balance, peace and deep silence.

Books about Chinese Medicine and the Five Elements

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