Thursday, November 21, 2013

5 Elements of Chinese Medicine By Heather Lindsay

Photo by Sarah McMurray

Chinese Medicine is based very much in the natural elements of our World.  This way of looking at life can cross the boundaries into any culture, religion, and way of life because it is what we physically live in - nature. The five elements illustrate the movement of life, all of which we are a part of. These elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water - are represented in each of us. However, one element tends to guide us most. Examples of what each element embodies are seen through color, seasons, movement, aroma, and emotions. Which one resonates most with you?
            Imagine the springtime - everything is suddenly alive! What stands out to you after a long winter over the barren land? Is it the sudden vibrant burst of blossoming trees and flowers of every color imaginable accented by the emerald green background and sharp smell of new growth? Do new ideas come to mind in how to accomplish your desires and needs? The gifts of this element; clarity, vision, and creativity; give rise to how to move onward and upward with life. How will you frame and design your life’s path?
            Ahhh Summer... A time for friends gathering together. Or the offerings of summer may be cuddling in the arms of a loved one and giggling about shared memories on the porch as fireflies light up the sultry evening sky. Both scenes bring up the gifts of this element - partnership, passion, and love. Are you aware of how everything is connected? This element reminds us of the relationship of everything that passes through our lives. Do you know this interconnectedness with yourself to the one sitting beside you - and to the world?
            There are five seasons in Chinese Medicine. Late summer is the additional one. Yet, this season is still quite known to us. Outside it is humid and dense. It is the time of the first harvest. When all that you have been working for bares fruit. The gifts of both Earth and mother are synonymous in that they bring forth and nurture all we have sown to move forward through life. What do your thoughts turn to when you seek sustenance? How can you ripen and then harvest your greatest needs?
            The crisp, pureness of autumn... A brown leaf crinkling in the wind... Grief in letting go. The breath outward ~ inward to the vast space of self’s’ residence. A time of recognition. The gifts of this element are found in the space created through surrender and release. As you fall into the temple of self ask - “Is there anything I can let go of? Can I learn from the gems that remain?”
            Winter... ssshhhhh... Snow falls silently. The barren landscape conceals the depths below where much waits to happen. Winter’s truth is in not rushing around as we often do but in being still, quiet, and restful. This is the time within. Perhaps much seems unknown and fearful as we wait. The gifts of this element lay in the depths of darkness where knowledge can become known. Here is where we can explore, reflect, and find our true self. This time of peace can you rest in your deep self courageously and find your own inner light to guide you onward - and soon upward into spring?
            This is a way of looking at life through cycles.  It is very healing as you begin to identify with yourself in this deep way. Sometimes just getting outside and taking a walk is the BEST thing you can do, or try turning the t.v. or music off while you wash dishes or do housework so you can listen to the quiet for a few minutes, or maybe call your best friend and have a real heart to heart with them, or maybe just maybe write your story of who you are and where you hope to go would help bring healing answers.  Anything you do differently then you usually do will open a new door to exploring your elements of who you truly are.  You never know what may come tumbling out.

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