Water Element. The water type, five element acupuncture treatment. The water element and acupuncture, the Torbay Acupuncture Centre, Devon.

Water Element

The Water Type

Emotion: Fear and Lack of Fear
Season: Winter
Struggle with: Trust
Need: Reassurance
Strength: Motivation, will power and wisdom
Organs: Kidneys and Bladder

The Water Element

The nature of water is dynamic, it moves to the depths and flows. It seeks form and fills things. Water can be gentle or destructive, life giving or deadly. Water moves gracefully and eternally.

The emotion for water is fear and lack of fear. As we have said, the nature of water is to move. This means that Water types lack the stability and security provided by roots. Life is always in a flux and a flow. Compounding this, the season of Water is winter. Historically, winter would have been a very frightening and dangerous time, with long dark nights, low temperatures and little vegetation or growth. Therefore, the fear that is experienced by Water types tends to be very primal. At the back of their minds there is always the worry that ‘everything’ could go wrong.

The way Water types manage this constant state of tension, is to think. The Kidneys are linked to the brain in Chinese Medicine, so Waters often have a keen intellect. They ask lots of questions and equip themselves with all the answers, which allows them to ‘work things out’. This mastery over the facts helps them to feel secure. Their other favourite pass time is planning – particularly worst-case scenario planning. Again, this links back to winter, which would have required scrupulous preparation and planning in the past. For Waters, working out the very worst thing that could happen and then devising a mitigation strategy is the best way to lay demons to rest. On the whole it works very well for them, but once Waters become imbalanced this tendency can be both tiring and debilitating. Waters need to be wary of wasting too much time and energy dwelling on unfounded fears.

Another characteristic of the Water type is a tendency towards risk taking. – This is the lack of fear side of their nature. It’s almost as if they need to be able to manifest their inner belief that ‘everything’ could go wrong… Some Waters will take huge financial risks as entrepreneurs or speculators, others may engage in extreme sports. Whatever their specific arenas, there is one thing you can guarantee. However great the risk appears to everybody else, in the mind of the Water it has already had been analysed and assessed to the nth degree. Waters seem to require these challenges to ‘test’ themselves – literally putting themselves on the line in order to check that they have covered all the bases.

The area that Waters struggle with most is trust. This means trust in the broadest sense. They find it hard to trust people, circumstances and events. Not surprising when their fundamental belief is that ‘everything’ could go wrong! When it comes to other people the difficulty is that Waters have no guarantee that their own stringent intellectual standard are being met. Delegation is very difficult for them, so they are more likely to end up doing things for themselves.

Unfortunately, this lack of trust inhibits them from ‘receiving’ that which they crave for most: Reassurance. Their own planning and preparation reassure Water types to some extent but they are barred from receiving reassurance from others because they can not trust it… Catch 22. If Waters do find someone in their life they can truly trust it is hugely buoying for them. Waters are unlikely to let many people into this vaulted position but one or two will be enough to provide the occasional sanctuary they need.

Water’s strengths are numerous. They are excellent problem solvers and are exactly who you want to have around in a crisis (they have already devised a plan after all!) They are also strongly self-motivated and possess enormous will power and drive. Water is also associated with old age and the wisdom that comes with it. This wisdom can prove to be their greatest strength of all. If Waters can develop the wisdom with in themselves to navigate their own inner oceans, identifying people and places that can provide safe harbours in turbulent seas and having the foresight to see the bad weather approaching their capability and determination can make them a formidable force in the world.

Rachel Geary

Rachel Geary BA(Hons), Lic. Ac. MBAcC is a fully qualified acupuncturist, having graduated from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in 2002. She has previously practised in Inverness and Barnstaple. "I first became interested in acupuncture whilst I was at university studying History and Philosophy. I was particularly drawn to eastern philosophy, which I found particularly elegant and beautiful. I then went on to complete a three and a half year course of study in acupuncture and discovered it to exemplify these very same qualities. I feel very privileged to have been able to learn so much about the Chinese understanding of health and to be able to use this knowledge to help others." Rachel Geary is a Registered Acupuncturist, she is registered at The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), and The Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinic (ACMAC).