The Wood Type. Five Element Acupuncture for wood elements.

Wood Element

The Wood Type

Emotion: Anger and Frustration
Season: Spring
Struggle with: Flexibility
Need: Justice
Strength: Assertiveness and Leadership
Organs: Liver and Gall Bladder

The Wood Element

The nature of Wood is to grow, it is expansive and determined, always striving to move towards the light. It is during the Spring that Wood energy is at its strongest. All those new shoots heading up towards the sun. Filled with the promise of new life and another summer ahead. This time of year is filled with hope and enthusiasm which are all part of the charm of Wood. However, new shoots are very fragile and this is the greatest danger for those influenced most strongly by the Wood Element.

The Liver, which is one of the organs of Wood, shares the expansive energy of Spring. In most of the organs, energy travels either up or down depending on their function, but for the Liver, the energy travels out, to greet the world. Healthy flowing Liver energy, like new shoots, is hopeful and assertive. Unfortunately, more often than not in our increasingly hectic lives, this energy is rejected or blocked by the very world that it greets. The blocked energy is sent back to the body where it tends to stagnate causing frustration and anger, the emotions of Wood.

We are all subject to this energetic interaction, which is what we commonly term ‘stress’, but Woods find it particularly difficult to deal with.

This is because the Liver is also connected to the eyes. Woods tend to have a strong vision of the path ahead of them. They are born leaders, are often naturally benevolent and are particular driven by justice. They can’t abide a situation which is unfair. When their Liver energy is blocked, because the assertive and expensive Wood energy is so strong in them, the results can be quite explosive.

Imagine the tiny shoot again. Its instinct is to move constantly towards the light, but it comes across a stone in its path. Every cell in its being knows very clearly what it must do, so it continues to push and push against the obstacle. Wood types often find themselves in this position. Their natural determination means they keep trying when others would have backed away. More often than not the result of this determination is that they create great anger and frustration in themselves as the free-flowing Liver energy becomes more and more stagnated.

The worst thing of all, is that if they could simply step back and look at the bigger picture they may well be able to find a different path. The shoot simply needs to grow around the rock. This is the area that Wood types need to work hard on. If they can develop their flexibility it will stand them in very good stead. The tree that bends in the wind suffers less damage than the one that doesn’t.

Wood types also need to accept that life is ever-changing, though many find this hard. They like routine and feel most comfortable when they know where they are. This makes a cruel irony of the fact that Wood is the only changing Element of the five. Fire, Water, Metal and Earth are all eternal, but not Wood. Wood, comes to life, grows and dies in an ever-changing cycle of life. Learning to handle this movement is very important to Wood types, as is the movement itself. Of all the elements, Woods need physical exercise the most. Moving the body is one of the best possible ways to shift stagnant energy and allowing it to flow freely again. Exercise that increases flexibility is particularly beneficial.

Woods also need to remember the other great lesson of spring time… All that new growth and exuberance is the reward for nature’s patience. There are times in life when nothing can be done but wait… If Woods can learn these vital lessons and allow themselves to step back from time to time they can make inspirational leaders, full of courage, integrity and passion.

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).