The Five Elements in Chinese Medicine: Which Element Are You?

Fire. Earth. Metal. Water. Wood.

The Five Elements in Chinese Medicine represent a theoretical foundation for how nature acts, and in turn, how our bodies, mind, and spirit interact with nature. The Five Elements can be broken down into categories relating to all aspects of nature like tastes, colors, emotions, organs, and sounds. Their relationships are all interconnected, much like in nature.  

five elements of nature

We are each a combination of the five elements, but usually, one element is most dominant within our personalities. Acupuncturists can diagnose imbalances within the different aspects of the elements to help patients relieve emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms, in order to better connect body, mind, and spirit.

Knowing which element is dominant within ourselves and our children can help us with unhealthy patterns. Irregular sleep patterns, emotional symptoms like anxiety, stress, and depression, digestion changes like diarrhea or constipation, changes in skin like dryness, changes in appetite or all signs of an out of balance system. Diet, acupressure, yoga postures, and mindful awareness can all provide a reset when our element is out of whack.

Fire  

The Fire Element person loves to be the center of attention, and they love joy and life. You can often hear the sound of laughter in their speech. Fire children are often warm with red cheeks and refuse to wear a jacket on cold days. They can be loud and full of energy. The enjoy a large social circle of friends any may love theater and dance

When a Fire Element child or adult is out of balance some of the emotional symptoms they might experience are:

Agitation

Anxiety

Continuous laughter

Critical, cynical behavior

Excessive and/or vivid dreaming

Forgetfulness

Lack of joy or humor

Lack of self-love

Mania

Mental confusion

Poor self-esteem

Restlessness

Earth

The Earth Element person is a nurturer at heart. They enjoy hosting family gatherings and thinking about the people they love. Earth Element children may enjoy playing house and caretaking dolls and animals. They find peace in helping with cooking, taking care of younger children, and small communities of friends and family. 

When an Earth Element child or adult is out of balance some of the emotional symptoms they might experience are:

Confusion

Craving sympathy

Feeling ungrounded

Insecurity/neediness

Obsessive thoughts

Over-protective

Restless sleep

Selfish behavior

Worry

Poor concentration

Poor memory

Scattered feeling

Metal

A Metal Element person craves order and organization. They are often the people first to clean up a party, often during the party. They are comfortable with clearly defined boundaries, rules, and expectations. A Metal Element child needs structure and feels out of balance without it. Their birthday wishes may be high-quality items, but few of them. They enjoy games with clear rules, like board games, and might not enjoy spontaneous adventures. 

When a Metal Element child or adult is out of balance some of the emotional symptoms they might experience are:

Apathy

Boredom

Grief

Inability to let go

Lack of inspiration

Melancholy

Sadness

Timidity

Water

A Water Element person usually loves the arts. They are flexible and fluid in their personalities, enjoying surprises and spontaneity. A Water Element child does not mind their hands full of paint, mud, clay or any other creative project. They seem to “go with the flow” easier than other kids, may be found daydreaming, and can make up bedtime stories with ease. 

When a Water Element child or adult is out of balance some of the emotional symptoms they might experience are:

Armoring

Depression

Fear

Feeling overwhelmed

Lack of willpower

Moaning and groaning

Panic attacks

Paranoia

Timidity

Adrenal weakness

Wood

A Wood Element person is comfortable in a leadership position. They thrive being in control of work and family life, be it as a CEO of a large corporation or in charge of command central of the family dry erase board dictating the calendar. A Wood Element child may enjoy being captain of a team sport and may tend toward tantrums when they feel they are being told what to do.  Strong-willed and highly intelligent, Wood Element children may find success on debate teams and should be given lots of responsibilities at home. 

When a Wood Element child or adult is out of balance some of the emotional symptoms they might experience are:

Aggressive behavior

Anger and angry outbursts

Bitterness

Depression

Emotional repression

Frustration

Impatience

Inability to plan or organize

Indecision

Irritability

Jealousy

Moodiness

Negative outlook

Over-fastidious planning

Resentment

A rigid and inflexible attitude

Shouting

Timidity


If you are interested in finding out which of the five elements in Chinese medicine dominates your or your child’s personality? Take this quiz from Integrative Acupuncture!

five element quiz

This 25 question quiz to determine which of the five elements in Chinese medicine dominates your personality can be taken for yourself or for someone you love. After you complete it, you will be emailed a detailed guide about your element with ideas for diet, acupressure, and yoga to help you find balance.

The Five Elements in Chinese Medicine: Which Element Are You?

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply