The Five Elements


  • Do you prefer loose, untethered fabrics or clothing,  or something more structured with definite lines and pressed creases?


  • Are you attracted to being by water or prefer walking in the country?


  • Do you have a quick temper, are you that person that keeps things close and bottled up?


  • Are you naturally lanky and muscular or is your body more curvy, soft and rounded?


  • Do you crave the sun and suddenly are awakened and inspired by the long awaited hot summer season or do you love to stay hunkered down, cocooning for the cold winds of winter?


  • Are you a night owl or do you bounce out of bed, bright eyed and bushy-tailed at the first sign of dawn?

  • Do you crave sweets or is it the salty taste that has you digging through your fridge late at night?

The ancient Chinese philosophers looked to the natural world to find a way of describing how we are similar, yet unique.


They discovered that pretty much anything in the world could be broken down into five energy types, which they called the Five Elements: (Go to the Five Elements Diagram)


They are: 

  • Wood             is associated with the color   green
  • Fire                is associated with the color   red
  • Earth             is associated with the color   yellow
  • Metal             is associated with the color   white
  • Water             is associated with the color   blue


In the poetic language of the Five Elements, health is a harmonious balance of all the elements. The Qi of the elements moves fluidly through and between these 5 elements giving us some of the qualities of each, in our inner bodily system, making up and the qualities of our personalities. We have a little bit of each.

Take the What's your Element Quiz to find out which element is your dominant element and which other elements are next in line to impact your personality and life.


Wood Meridians: This "Wood" element is associated
with the Liver/Gallbladder organs


If Wood is the strongest element, a person will:

  • have a clear vision and goal and know how to bring them into being.

  • have skills to excel at planning and decision making.

  • be forceful in disagreements and can strongly argue their opinions.

  • have piercing, penetrating eyes which may attract you, but avoid their wrath

Wood Imbalance:  When the wood Qi is weak, people:


  • can be indecisive, without strong direction in life, and stuck.

  • can be constrained emotionally, unable to express anger.


When the Liver Qi is congested or stagnant, people:

  • can be arrogant, over controlling, and have angry dispositions.

  • may be workaholics or have addictive personalities, including the possibility of abusing drugs and alcohol.

  • may have digestive problems like bloating, gas, alternating constipation and diarrhea.


When Liver Qi is imbalanced:

  • hot and spicy foods may cause too much heat.

  • Sour and bitter flavors are said to benefit the Liver meridian.

  • Excessive frustration and irritation can be especially difficult 

Bring it Back to Balance:

  • Physical exercise and reading can help restore balance.

  • The fall is a vulnerable time, as well as the winds of March, as well as extremely hot weather.

What to Watch for: 

  • dry, brittle, thickened nails and pain just below the ribs.

  • Common illnesses, such as migraines, eye problems, and sinus problems.

  • Since the Liver meridian circles the genitals, rashes and discharges are associated with its imbalance, as well as hernias.

  • For women, menstrual problems are common including PMS, painful periods, and heavy bleeding.

  • Uterine fibroids.

  • The Liver and Gallbladder meridian pathways traverse the top and sides of the head, the most common sites for migraine headaches.

Wood's Favourite Season: 


  • The Qi of the Wood element flourishes in the spring when plants are sprouting new growth; and the color of this element is green.


Fire Meridians: associated with the Heart, Small Intestines, Pericardium,  and Triple Warmer


If Fire is the strongest element: 

  • People are charismatic

  • they excel at commanding others to action.

  • They may love talking and socializing.


Fire Imbalance: 

  • When the Fire Qi is weak, a person may be lackluster or bland.

  • They may suffer from anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.

  • They may stutter, talk too much and too rapidly, or laugh nervously.

  • They may be too excitable, easily stimulated to excesses,

  • or they may be emotionally cold and unfeeling.


Common illnesses for Fire include:


  • palpitations

  • hypertension

  • heart problems

  • sores on the mouth and tongue.

  • may be vulnerable in very hot weather, and may be calmed and centered by walking.


Fire's Bitter Flavours:


  • Coffee is a bitter flavor, but its effects may aggravate the Heart Qi.

  • The healthy bitter flavors include dark, green leafy vegetables.





Earth Meridians: Earth is connected to the
Stomach and Spleen Meridian


Well developed Earth Energy:


  • is a well grounded

  • nurturing

  • compassionate

  • sometimes depicted as the arch-typical “earth mother”.


Earth People's Likes and Affinities:

  • like to bring others together and make good mediators or peacemakers and reliable friends.

  • enjoy both preparing food and eating.

  • people are often attracted to them by their generous mouth and full, sensuous lips.


When Earth's Qi is Weak:


  • they can be worriers and meddlers.

  • prone to pensiveness.

  • may overwork, especially in studying or other intellectual work.

  • are vulnerable to digestive problems and diarrhea.

  • may gain weight easily and lose it with difficulty.

  • Earth bodies have a tendency to make excessive mucus

  • may suffer from:

    • cloudy thinking

    • muzzy-headedness

    • lack of clarity. 

Earth Can feel better if:

  • limit cold, raw foods and dairy products.

  • should eat warming foods and grains to stay well grounded.

  • may crave sweets.

    • However, the sweet taste can be satisfied by eating sweet grains, vegetables, and fruits rather than processed sugars.

  • Sitting Meditation helps Earth to be grounded and centered.​


Common Earth Illnesses Include:

  • fatigue

  • diarrhea

  • gas & bloating

  • good allergies & sensitivities

  • eating disorders

  • heartburn

  • canker sores.

  • excessive mucus may collect in the lungs or in the sinuses.

  • In women, menstrual problems may include either excessively light or heavy periods.


When Earth's Qi is at its Best:


  • the earth element flourishes in Indian Summer, those golden moments of fullness before the waning of the light.

  • Earth's color is yellow, like the sun, and the ripened crops, and the root vegetables. Sitting meditation is said to strengthen the earth element.





Metal Meridians are associated with:

Lungs/Large Intestines


Well-Balanced Metal Qi:  

  • is well organized

  • self disciplined

  • conscientious.

  • Like and need structure in their life.

  • Rule followers

  • Metal Qi people have a deep inner strength, like ore mined from the mountains.

When Metal is out of Balance:  


  • may experience a deepness in grief and mourning

  • may be steeped in sadness.

  • may be overly critical.

  • may have trouble letting go.


When the Metal energy is Weak: 


  • Lung issues may occur such as asthma, allergies, frequent colds.

  • Lung meridian rules the skin, so rashes and eczema

  • problems with sweating

  • The Large Intestine meridian can be affected by chronic constipation or diarrhea, or other bowel diseases.


The Metal Energy's Best Season:

  • peaks in the fall. In the cool, crisp, clean air of autumn

  • metal people feel they can accomplish anything.


The color of Metal is White:

  • people strongly influenced by the Metal Qi may have pale complexions.




Water Meridians are associated with
Kidneys and Bladder


The Water energy is a strong generative force centered in the lower belly.


When the Kidney Qi is strong:


  • a person is fearless

  • determined

  • can endure many hardships in pursuit of their goals.

  • Resilient

  • Persevering by will power is characteristic of those with strong Kidney Qi.

  • Longevity is also considered to be associated with healthy Kidney Qi, signified by large, elongated ear lobes, like those of the Buddha.

When Water is out of Balance:

  • Kidney Qi will be  weak,

  • problems with water metabolism

  • urination

  • fertility

  • sexuality

  • anxious

  • fearful

  • withdrawn

  • In more severe cases, phobic.


As Kidney Qi Declines with Aging: 


  • There may be diminished hearing or ringing in the ears.




  • the Kidney Yin declines,

    • associated with classic signs of heat and dryness – hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin and mucous membranes.

  • Kidney Yang weakness is associated with cold

    • cold extremities

    • cold back and belly

    • declining sexual vigor

    • urinary frequency or incontinence.


The color of the Kidney:


  • is black, like the night

  • or like black ice


When the Kidney Qi starts to weaken


  • dark circles or pouches appear under the eyes.


Water's Favourite Season:


  • Winter

  • a time when living things are contracted with cold. Like a seed deep in the cold ground, Qi is dormant, waiting for the time to sprout.

Are there relationships between each element and if so, how do the Elements impact each other, and you? Link to Diagram