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    In Chinese medicine there are 5 elements: Wood, Water, Earth, Metal and Fire. Have you ever been mid-acupuncture session when the practitioner mutters something about too much Wood element? Read on to find out what this all means and how to use the elements to improve your overall health.


    A tree competing aggressively with the other trees around it grows to become steadfast and solid. Wood Types are determined, seek out challenges and do well under pressure. Competitive and adventurous they love novelty and movement. Spring is the season of the Wood type who is drawn to this season’s new starts, growth, and possibilities.

    Wood types have a strong sense of purpose but can become over-driven and stressed when out of balance. This means that Wood Types can be angry and suffer health problems such as high blood pressure, tight muscles, and headaches. This might lead wood types to search for unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking to relieve stress.


    • Notice when you get stubborn and learn to be more adaptable and accommodating to others needs.
    • Find a healthy stress-relieving activity such as yoga. We offer 1:1 classes at Pathways
    • The organ most associated with the wood type is the liver so avoid alcohol and include sour foods in your diet to stimulate the liver.


    Energy and passion are the nature of a Fire type! Fire types are known for being eloquent and expressive. They are energetic, charismatic people who approach life with an infectious enthusiasm. They make great leaders because of their ability to “fire up” other people. The season associated with the Fire Element is summer, which brings plenty of sunny joy! When Fire types are balanced they can create intimacy and connections easily.

    If unbalanced, Fire types emotions become very up and down. They can also find themselves talking “too much”. Fire Types can get anxious and suffer from insomnia. They’re prone to overheating and can suffer acne and skin rashes. Because the heart is the organ most associated with the fire element, they are also prone to circulatory problems.


    • Balance your sociable nature by taking time to be alone each day.
    • Writing in a journal or meditating might help to calm your nerves.
    • It’s important that Fire Types guard against becoming too scattered and so try to plan ahead and prioritise even if it feels unnatural to do so!
    • Fire types respond well to regularity, including regular small meals!
    • Avoid very spicy food. Include bitter foods, such as leafy greens and cooling foods such as pears, cucumber, and yogurt in your diet.


    The Earth Type is nurturing, grounded, and practical, they enjoy nourishing others and are known for their reliability. Earth Types are drawn to harmony and like to feel connected to other people. They are compassionate and empathetic and often go into caring professions or use their skills to pacify disputes.

    The season of the Earth Type is late summer with its bountiful harvest. They will find a way to express their nurturing side through. For example through crafts, knitting, gardening, environmentalism or conservation work. 

    Earth types are thoughtful but when out of balance these thoughts can become obsessive and intrusive and can cause them to worry unnecessarily. Also, their wish to be needed sometimes makes them give too much and become depleted. 

    The organs associated with the Earth Element are the digestive organs so if they get run down they may have digestive problems, loose stools, fatigue, and food allergies.


    • Work on developing good boundaries and being able to say “No”. 
    • Make time to be in nature because this will refuel you. 
    • Earth Types should work at staying present and not allowing their mind to stray into the future and worry too much about things that may ever happen.
    • Moderate intake of sweets and replace them with sweet vegetables such as yams or carrots.


    Metal Types are righteous, loyal and brave. They’re intellectually sharp and this, combined with their tendency for self-discipline, can make them very successful. They like structure and tend to be organised and methodical.

    Perfectionists in everything they do, Metal Types are highly creative and detail oriented. With their ability to “cut to the chase’, Metal Types are good at solving problems. 

    The Metal Element is associated with the lungs and skin and so when out of balance Metal Types are prone to respiratory problems such as asthma and skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

    The season of the Metal Element is the Autumn and the emotion associated with this type is grief. Autumn is when we all start to slow down after the excitement of summer and Metal Types can seem insular, preferring a small group of close friends as opposed to being part of a large crowd.

    When out of balance the Metal Type might allow grief and past hurt to damage their present relationships. This can make it hard for them to form bonds with other people and they may end up replacing intimacy with material things.


    • Regular aerobic exercise will strengthen your lungs and benefit the Metal Type. 
    • Seeking help with letting go of the past can really support the Metal Type to form good relationships. 
    • Watch for a tendency to self –righteousness which is one of the ways the Metal Type protects herself from pain. 
    • Breathing deeply is important for Metal Types so a meditative technique that involves focusing on the breath can be helpful. 
    • Metal Types should avoid junk food and opt for foods high in minerals especially leafy greens vegetables. 
    • White foods such as mushrooms are also particularly nourishing for the Metal Element.


    Like water, Water types “go with the flow”. They are also known for their determination and are often described as self-sufficient. Unlike the Wood Types, who get things done by force, the Water Types are more flexible and achieve their aims by determining the best path through a situation – like water carving its way through a valley.

    Water Types enjoy anonymity and are often introspective, making them somewhat enigmatic and quietly philosophical. The season of the Water Element is winter when things are still and the Water types might seek out solitude and tranquility, particularly during winter.

    The organs associated with the Water Type are the Kidney and Bladder and they are prone to urinary tract infections and holding too much water in the body. The Water element also governs the bones so Water Types can have sore joints and back problems. The emotion associated with water is fear and when out of balance the water type can be fearful, timid, and indecisive.


    • Guard against becoming too isolated by consciously prioritising your social life.
    • Drink plenty of fluids.
    • Be aware that fear is a sign that you have become imbalanced and take steps to develop your fearlessness.
    • Soups and stews support the Water Element and are particularly important in winter when the Water Type should avoid cold foods and salads.
    • Seaweed is particularly nourishing for the Water Type and should be included in the diet wherever possible.

    Perhaps you’re thinking that you resonate with a couple of these? Or some parts of different descriptions, at different times? To learn more, book an appointment with one of our excellent practitioners to talk to them about how they can help you rebalance the elements within you! Click here:

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