What are the Five Elements?
WOOD, symbolized by shades of green, represents spring, trees and plants, and the health of the liver and gall bladder. When we nurture Wood, we cultivate tenderness and kindness and heal anger and frustration.
FIRE, signified by red and pink, represents summer; sun, stars, and flames; and the health of the heart and small intestine. Harmonious Fire nurtures love and joy as antidotes to anxiety and impatience.
EARTH — brown and yellow — represents late summer, soil and stone, and the health of the stomach and spleen. Tending the Earth element transforms worry and panic into fairness and openness.
METAL — gold and silver — represents autumn, ores from the Earth, and the health of the lungs and large intestine. Metal in balance gives us confidence and courage and heals sadness and grief.
WATER — blue and purple — represents winter, ocean and stream, and the health of the kidneys, bladder, and reproductive system. By nurturing Water we transform fear and stress into gentleness and calmness.
Dr. Angela C. Wu is a doctor, author, wellness coach, and pioneer in bringing traditional Chinese healing arts to the United States. Drawing on Dr. Wu’s decades of experience, her San Francisco clinic addresses the unique and individual healthcare needs of people of all ages.
Before you enter, please empty your cup
The student traveled far to find the wisest teacher. Atop a mountain, in a humble shack, the student found the sage. “Tell me the purpose of your visit,” said the teacher, pouring the student a cup of tea.
“I have apprenticed myself to masters, studied volumes, and tested my skills against the brightest minds. I seek the highest knowledge humans can attain,” the student replied. “What can I learn from you, an old hermit?”
As the student spoke, the teacher poured and poured until the tea flowed onto the table, then the floor.
“Stop!” cried the student. “Can’t you see that the tea is overflowing?”
“Yes, I see,” said the sage, “that I cannot serve you, because your cup is already full.
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