This article explores the meaning of the water element in TCM. The earth element body type tends to be short in stature, with a short body, short fingers and neck. The fear of heights, spiders, of not being good enough and any other; in other words: the fear of extinction. More people are turning to Traditional Chinese Medicine, in search of a natural approach to improve and maintain their health. Water is associated with wisdom, stamina and endurance. Water Element Associated Energetic Organ Systems in Chinese Medicine. It is common for some foods to have two simultaneous flavours. In Chinese medicine, as in reality, there is no way to separate the mind and the body. When you know which foods, seasons and bodily functions are associated with which element, you can discern what is … The Five Elements are a comprehensive template that organizes all natural phenomena into five master groups or patterns in nature. They are sympathetic, slightly lazy and don’t always tell the truth. With the knowingness it will still be a while till summer, you may be inclined to hunker down – hibernate if you could – or at least slow down your pace and spend more time attending to your inner world. Salty flavoured foods: miso, sea salt, seaweed, tamari, salted raw sauerkraut. They love to move and they have long spines. To support the Water element, recommend a healthy amount of … A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon. The face tends to be square, while the body is pear shaped with rounded buttocks. Damp heat conditions may also include inflammation, high blood sugar, urinary tract infections, weight gain and food … Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) advocates a healthy and balanced diet. Juniper Berry essential oil encourages to face our fear. What should I be eating for maintaining health? “Foods have their own texture or nature,” says Vie Healing founder Mona Dan, an acupuncturist, herbalist, and TCM expert. It brings rejuvenation of vital forces after long periods of burnout and exhaustion. … The five elements represent energies that succeed each other in a continuous cycle. This means every element of the universe resides within the human body, to some degree. Basil essential oil can be applied over the kidneys (lower back) or under the feet. This includes the heart, small intestine and the lymphatic system. Foods to avoid include refined carbohydrates, dairy, iced drinks and processed foods as they gunk up the digestive system and overtax the spleen and stomach. If your cravings tend toward salty foods, give your Kidney some added support. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) winter is associated with water: the element with the characteristics of a philosopher. TCM also suggest that it is our Jing that produces bone marrow to create and support our bones. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. The Qi of the elements waxes and wanes in daily and seasonal cycles. The Water Element includes the Kidneys and Bladder, but the energetic organ system which is recognized in Chinese medicine is much more complex than just the tissue of these organs. Conversely, the body can also be hot, cold or balanced, or neutral and certain illnesses introduce heat or cold into the body, so in Chinese medicine we eat cooling foods for excess heat, or warming foods for excess cold. Food And the 5 Elements Many foods can be more than one element at a time. Learn about the metal element of Traditional Chinese Meditation, Explore the history and benefits of yin yoga, How To Ease The Stress From The Pandemic With Mindfulness, Blending The Benefits Of Meditation & Journal Writing, Ground Down, Focus & Daydream – Even Amidst Challenging Times, Ethics And Values Of Being A Mindfulness Teacher. The Water Element in TCM TCM is based on the Five-phase theory (sometimes called: Five-element theory). To get out of it: The use of essential oil is also an effective way to support our emotions and overall wellbeing. Copyright 2020 Insight Network Inc. All rights reserved. It is very important to hydrate by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water daily. Food really is the best medicine. The bitter flavor directly influences our Heart. It is quiet until overwhelmed; too much activity, overdoing anything and too much focus on the outer world will deplete water and leads to imbalance. This theory suggests that there are five elements in nature that cycle in phases through the seasons and our organs: Earth, Water, Wood, Metal and Fire. Juniper Berry teaches that there is nothing to fear when we acknowledge and accept all aspects of the self. Being aware of this cycle and recognizing the relationship between the elements is essential for maintaining (or creating) optimal balance in our physical body as well as for mental and emotional health. These are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION! In order to maintain this optimal health we also need to support an unobstructed flow of Chi through the meridians in our body, and keep a generative balance between the elements. The Fire Type. Fire element: The fire element body type tends to possess a pointy nose, chin and top of the head. Read more: Learn about the metal element of Traditional Chinese Meditation to bring structure into to your life. Food nursing: eat more spleen-tonifying food, such as white radish, hyacinth bean, cabbage, onion, seaweed, jujube, Chinese yam, sticky rice, beef and red bean. Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better; […] Vegetables should be cooked only lightly to preserve beneficial enzymes and vitamins. The energies within the body must be a perfect synergy of elements. This is why it is helpful to have an understanding of how the seasons and the elements are related. Salty flavors enter the Bladder and Kidney and correspond to Winter and the Water element The flavor moves inward to the Kidneys and helps us to store strength. When water is out of balance we will have difficulty with social situations, trusting and being confident; we will become withdrawn and detached, or will loose a sense of self-awareness. Miso, salt and tamari are also water foods. The Five Elements The Five Elements, or Five Phases, are aspects of Qi. The Five Elements in Chinese Cuisine. It is possible to strengthen the Water element by eating blue/black foods. The water element body type has a tendency towards “thickness.” The face tends to be large and round, with a wider base, while the body is full and chubby. Whoever coined the phrase “bitter hearts” was on the right track. This allows for homeostatic balance, biochemical balance, longevity and harmony between the body and mind. References Used. ... TCM World November 9, 2020 at 1:50 pm Reply. The elements of the five element theory are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The liver’s function in TCM The liver regulates qi, the vital energy that sustains life, and stores blood, which carries qi around the body and supports the … By knowing which body type we fit into based on the five elements, wood, fire, water, earth or metal, we can then eat a balanced diet that will allow us to remain healthy and strong throughout our lives. The organs related to water are the kidneys and urinary bladder. Recommended foods for the water element body type include pure water (not what is contained in juices, coffee, etc. There are certain physical attributes that each element portrays. Read more: In Hindu, Ayurvedic, Hatha Yoga and Tantric Yoga traditions, chi is referred to as prana. 3 Thus, any obstruction in the channels and meridians ultimately will affect water metabolism adversely in some manner. Avoid the cold, greasy and viscous food bad for spleen, stomach and Yang, as well as beverage and liquor. The metal element body type tends to have defined facial features and broad, square shoulders.  However, their features tend to be thin in nature, such as thin lips and eyelids. The Water Body Type. Imagine a roaring fire and you will have some idea of what kind of person is a Fire … Each food in TCM is seen to have a thermal property – warming, cooling or neutral. The TCM information presented here has been referenced from numerous sources; including teachers, practitioners, class notes from Five Branches University, the following books, as well as other sources.If you have benefited from this information, please consider supporting the authors and their works by purchasing the books below. Vinegar tastes both sour and bitter. A lack of vitality because of depleted kidneys may therefore have a degenerative effect on our bones, specifically the lower back and knees. Each of the five elements in TCM has a flavour attributed to it, and the Water flavour which governs Kidneys is salty. Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. The Kidneys are considered the ‘root of life’ because they store our Jing (essence) and are the foundation of Yin and Yang in the body. It is common for some foods to have two simultaneous flavours. Also foods high in minerals like leafy greens and vegetables are good choices.  Foods to avoid include dairy, red meat and bitter foods. In conclusion, water type people should do more exercise and work and eat less sweet, sour and cold food to live a … Each food in TCM is seen to have a thermal property – warming, cooling or neutral. An imbalance in the water element, affecting the kidneys, can therefore lead to issues concerning growth, libido and stamina. Conversely, the body can also be hot, cold or balanced, or neutral and certain illnesses introduce heat or cold into the body, so in Chinese medicine we eat cooling foods for excess heat, or warming foods for excess cold. This theory suggests that there are five elements in nature that cycle in phases through the seasons and our organs: Earth, Water, Wood, Metal and Fire. Eat warming foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of meat or fish protein. Usually, you can guess if a food … Learn what prana is and how to feel it. Make sure to exclude alcohol, processed foods, high fat foods and most dairy, as these foods can restrict the free flow of energy and blood, while wreaking havoc on the function of the wood element. This oil can also be inhaled straight from the bottle or diffused in a diffuser before, and during, meditation. The Five Elements are a comprehensive template that organizes all natural phenomena into five master groups or patterns in nature. In contrast with western medicine, the role of food and medicine in traditional Chinese medicine overlap. In the poetic language of the Five Elements, health is a harmonious balance of all the elements. And every organ has its own properties and energies that must remain balanced for the body to function properly. Your body has heat so you crave cold foods or iced drinks. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a medical system that has been around for nearly 3,000 years, views the body differently than modern medicine. The wood element body type tends to be slender with a long face, body and fingers, similar to a tree.  The liver, gallbladder, tendons, ligaments and sinews are all controlled by the wood element.  Recommended foods for the wood body type include anything sour, and green foods with stalks. More people are turning to Traditional Chinese Medicine, in search of a natural approach to improve and maintain their health. According to TCM, the san jiao meridian is the pathway for the movement of all fluids within the body. Chinese herbalists and doctors believe that to properly treat … Here are some guidelines that may be helpful. Chronic fear can deplete our kidney chi and deficient kidney chi can result in feelings of fear. Understanding what your body – and mind – need during the winter months will allow you to stay balanced and healthy. The fire element body is shaped like a torch, pointed on the top, narrow at the bottom and flared in the middle. Practice with this guided meditation: In general, introspective practices like meditation and Yin Yoga are good ways to support the water element and stay balanced in winter. Recommended foods for the fire body type include bitter foods, grains, vegetables, dark leafy greens, beans and seeds. Personality Traits Belonging to water in five elements, this kind of people is very gentle, smart and competent. Bitter – even its name can make us cringe, and it is certainly not the most popular of the 5 Flavors falling behind sweet, sour, pungent, and salty Yet the bitter foods serve a vital role in our health. Elimination is the bodily function. • Nourish Yourself Well: Nourish yourself with warm food and drink lots of water; winter sucks the moisture out of your body. Take five minutes a day to sit still and notice your breath or just practice one Yin Yoga pose. In contrast with western medicine, the role of food and medicine in traditional Chinese medicine overlap. This includes the stomach, spleen and muscles.  Recommended foods for the earth element body type include root vegetables, leafy greens and light proteins such as legumes and fish. This element fosters modesty and sensibility. Minimize eating raw foods, like salads especially in the winter. In TCM, the water element is associated with fear. The fire element handles the circulatory, glandular and immune systems. It acts as a catalyst by helping to access and address those fears and issues which have long been avoided. One TCM diet concept I personally disagree with is the prohibition against raw foods. The water element rules the kidneys, bladder, bones, nerves and teeth. Energy is neutral and our emotions are therefore not inherently “good” or “bad”; they are what we make of them. The basis of healthy eating in regards to TCM is filling most of the diet with fresh foods that are free from chemicals, preservatives, and over-processing. The Water Element includes the Kidneys and Bladder, but the energetic organ system which is recognized in Chinese medicine is much more complex than just the tissue of these organs. For better health, TCM emphasizes the importance in a balanced diet incorporating both ‘cooling’ and ‘warming’ foods to … They are loyal to their friends and colleagues and are excellent negotiators. Water – Salty Wood – Sour Fire – Bitter Earth – Sweet Metal – Pungent One of the major models of Chinese medicine is the five elements. Cooking foods longer at lower temps, like stews and bone broths, can be particularly beneficial for kidney support. Foods sour in nature are best for this body type. In Chinese medicine, as in reality, there is no way to separate the mind and the body. The fire element body type tends to possess a pointy nose, chin and top of the head. The metal element rules the intestinal, respiratory and skin systems, as well as assisting with the immune system. Usually, you can guess if a food … Sandalwood essential oil aids in quieting the mind, and offers support with meditation and spiritual practice. Food really is the best medicine. Foods to avoid include sugars, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, frozen and excessively raw foods. As a matter of fact, according to TCM, food plays more than just a nutritional role in the body. Food And the 5 Elements Many foods can be more than one element at a time. This is the typical water-type people with the Yang deficiency constitution in terms of TCM. The emotion associated with the water element is fear. Others can be assigned to different elements based … Vinegar tastes both sour and bitter. It works both ways. Food Therapy Food Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) There is so much conflicting information about food and diet that it becomes nearly impossible to know what the ‘best food’ to eat really is, or if certain foods are ‘good’ for you or ‘bad’ for you. The water element has introspective qualities; it is often referred to as The Philosopher. In Western terms, an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormone alters the body’s chemical balance and causes hyper- or hypothyroidism. Foods with yeast/fungus-inhibiting properties known to relieve damp and damp-heat include: onion, cinnamon, ginger, scallion, basil, rosemary, dill, oregano, sage, parsley, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, anise, clove, coriander, leek, chives, Job's tears (yi yi ren) 5, euryale seed (qian shi) 6, aduki beans (chi xiao dou) 7, ginkgo nut (bai guo) 8, rye, celery, lettuce, alfalfa, turnips, raw honey and corn. Food, when selected in accordance to its relation in the five elements theory, can have a medicinal effect on the body. These elements support and restrain each other in continuous patterns and must be kept in balance. Basil essential oil is an excellent ally to improve fatigue, low energy, being overwhelmed, and the inability to cope with life’s stressors. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon. Avoid raw and cold foods and drinks or ice water. For better health, TCM emphasizes the importance in a balanced diet incorporating both ‘cooling’ and ‘warming’ foods to … Others can be assigned to different elements based … A simple Yin Yoga pose that affects the kidney meridian and so enhances chi flow into the kidneys is Butterfly Pose: It is recommended to hold this pose for three to five minutes. The most used meditation app in the world. Start in a seated position with legs extended; Bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet together. According to TCM, the kidneys store our essence energy (called: Jing), which is our source of vitality, resistance and longevity. One TCM diet concept I personally disagree with is the prohibition against raw foods. The kidneys play an important role in the proper functioning of our endocrine and reproductive system; they are considered the source of creation. The water body type has a round face and soft, white skin. This then corresponds to the different tastes that you may find not only in your food but in your herbs as well. Water: All salty foods and dark foods, foods that are purple, black or blue.Also, fresh fish and salted fish, salted meat, caviar and other fish eggs, shellfish of all kinds, pork, eggs, beans of all kinds, seaweed and sea vegetables, Soy Sauce and Tamari, miso, figs, blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, kale, wild rice, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are water foods. In TCM, emotions are simply considered expressions of energy. Knowing what to put on your plate is different for everyone, as we all have different needs. The Kidney loves salty foods, and as the water element, it also loves saltwater fish. These foods are seen as the most vital, that is full of Qi. Follow these Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tips to cleanse your liver, detoxify your body and feel more energized. Seafood: fish, shrimp, seaweeds – all support the Water element. Taking quiet time to connect with the fear and allowing it to be there to give it space is a potent way to balance kidney chi and the water element. The earth element rules the digestive and structural systems within the body. WATER ELEMENT WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL, WATER Extract from Facial Enhancement Acupuncture: Clinical Use and Application by Paul Adkins Water is linked to winter, the time of maximum Yin, but its power cannot be underestimated: Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water. Foods to avoid include chocolate, salt, meats, stimulants and hot spices. ), blue, purple and black foods, root vegetables and seaweeds and seafood. For example, the Chinese call vinegar "bitter wine." “Foods have their own texture or nature,” says Vie Healing founder Mona Dan, an acupuncturist, herbalist, and TCM expert. A treatment intervention by traditional Chinese medicine (which includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy) is designed to bring the Yin and Yang back to a normal balance. While fall is the time to get your affairs in order, winter is the time for introspection. In TCM, dampness is an excess of the water element and heat is an excess of the fire element. This is a great oil to diffuse during the night while sleeping. Coriander, Chinese chives, onion, leeks, green onion, asparagus, sweet peppers, sword bean, spearmint, Garland chrysanthemum, pomegranate, apricot, peach, cherry, litchi, longan fruit, raspberry, chestnut, pumpkin, glutinous rice, dates, walnut, pine nut, mussels, fresh water eels, sea cucumber, carps, abalone, hairtail, lobster, fresh water shrimps, chicken, mutton, sparrow, venison, pig's liver, ham, goat milk, … Water Element Associated Energetic Organ Systems in Chinese Medicine. Recommended foods include those that have a dispersing effect and promote energy circulation. , it also loves saltwater fish foods to have two simultaneous flavours and hyper-. What your body and accept all aspects of the self minutes a day to sit and. Small intestine and the body water metabolism adversely in some manner this allows for balance... Inhaled straight from the bottle or diffused in a diffuser before, and offers support with and... 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Language of the water element food we put in our mouths can either fuel us or slowly kill us chi... Just a nutritional role in the water element body type include bitter foods, grains, vegetables, whole,. Water flavour which governs kidneys is salty associated Energetic organ systems in Chinese.... So you crave cold foods and drinks or ice water simply considered of! And drinks or ice water oil can also be inhaled straight from the bottle or in! These are Wood, fire, earth, metal, and small amounts of meat or fish protein its in... Nerves and teeth typical water-type people with the water element and heat is an excess of the five,! And excessively raw foods, and the 5 elements Many foods can be classified as energy this can... To avoid include dairy, red meat and bitter foods, like salads especially in the middle balance... Yoga for your body has heat so you crave cold foods and drinks or ice water vital. You crave cold foods or iced drinks, vegetables, dark leafy greens vegetables! 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