Summer corresponds to the Fire Element.
Spring moves gradually into summer. Growth and which started in spring moves into maturity through a period of luxurious growth. This is Yang energy – it moves outward. The cycle of the seasons reaches its peak in Mature Summer. The organs associated are the Heart and the Small Intestine, Pericardium and the Three Heater. An imbalance in Fire, could find us “burning out” or being depressed, without animation or welcome for others. In health we will feel happy, communicative and friendly, at ease in our interactions with others and the world in general. A healthy Heart-Mind is clear and has the ability to see through problems to brilliant solutions. Dietary suggestions for this part of our system are: to avoid stimulants as much as possible, including caffeine, sugar and alcohol except on special occasions of celebration. In summer heat be sure to drink enough water. Dehydration is a major stress factor.
Late summer corresponds to the Earth Element. Late Summer energy is full and lush. Growth has come to completion ready for harvest. The power of the earth to produce, nurture and harvest. We have the power to harvest the fruits of our lives. An imbalance here will show in not being able to complete things, or in always giving to others and not looking after ourselves or somehow not learning from experience and so repeating problems over and over. The emotion is said to by sympathy or compassion, or is sometimes translated as “thoughtfulness or worry”. We all know how unproductive worry is and yet at times find ourselves unable to stop going over and over something. Insomnia of this kind is very common. The earth needs looking after. The organs associated are the Spleen and the Stomach. Their work in the body and mind is transformation.
Autumn corresponds to the Metal element. Energy begins to sink. Leaves change colour and fall, the harvest is gathered in. There is Quality in Metal – the structure of the Earth – Rock, Metal and Crystal. The organs associated are the Lungs and the Large Intestine. The ability to Take In, and the ability to Let Go. Grief is the emotion– people often say they love the melancholy feel of this season. It is interesting that when there is profound grief in a person’s life, the lungs are often affected. If we can’t let go – physically are constipated – how blocked, tired and sluggish we feel. How can we take in, if we can’t let go. The Power for Change is in this element.
Winter corresponds to Water During this season nature encourages us to rest to replenish, it is a time for saving and storing. The emotion often in evidence when there is an imbalance in Water is Fear. Anxiety and the triggering of the flight and fight mechanism in Stress, overworks our adrenals making us edgy and unable to slow down and relax. The organs associated are the Kidneys and Bladder. Many of us have perhaps experienced needing the toilet more when we are anxious. Difficulties in this part of the system call attention to this part of the cycle. As, interestingly do problems with the ears (The Kidney is shaped like an ear), tinnitus, and repetitive infections. Kidney is believed to be the house of our very essence – so if we become depleted in this area our whole being is depleted.
Spring corresponds to the Wood Element. It’s a time of birth and re-birth, as in nature the energy begins to rise, there is the power to grow and show the world who we are! The Acorn grows into the Oak Tree. When this element is imbalanced we may feel frustrated, be unable to see our way forward; have symptoms of fluctuating mood or explosive anger or perhaps Migraines or Premenstrual and Menstrual problems. The organs associated are the Liver and Gall Bladder our ability to Plan and to take decisions are ruled by the health of our Wood Element.
We are all made up of the same elements which surround us in the natural world. The Five Element or Five Phase model is at the root of all acupuncture theory, with its understanding of how these five elements interact and change one into the other.. A Five Element practitioner places great importance on a thorough understanding of the individual, their life style, their history and the way these Five Elements are working in their lives. Looking at the whole person first, then gaining an understanding their symptoms, can enable a treatment plan which helps to move them back into harmony with themselves and their life as a whole.
Many people today are struggling for clarity about their life purpose. Because of this, many suffer from a feeling of being stuck. Even though they are functioning, they may feel alienated, stressed, and overwhelmed. Many people feel as if they have lost themselves. Five Element acupuncture is primarily intended to get YOU back, the big YOU that wants to be healthy, and fully alive and growing into your full potential.
The Five Elements are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each of these help create who we are and how we function in the world. Have a look through the Five Elements and see which one corresponds closest with who you are! Each corresponds to a Season – within the year, the day, our lives.