Oriental Medicine Concepts  - Wood Element

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 The Wood Element is about making of ourselves. The energy we received from Heaven (Metal Element) and Earth (Water Element), and from our friends on the planet (Earth Element) has transformed to our Qi and Blood, and with it, we create our identity, in order to become a fully realized being. The Wood Element is about growth, strength, and flexibility. It is the youthful energy, full of creativity and idealism. Wood allows for movement outwardly from ourselves into the world, it allows for emotional transformation through expression and resolution.

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The physical aspect

The liver is the body's second-largest organ.  The liver performs many essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity and the storage of nutrients within the body. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped, hollow structure located under the liver and on the right side of the abdomen. Its primary function is to store and concentrate bile, a yellow-brown digestive enzyme produced by the liver. The Gallbladder, the liver’s pair Yang organ, controls decisiveness. 

Sinews are tough bands of connective tissue that usually connect muscle to bone and are capable of withstanding tension. To be well-coordinated, well-muscled, athletic and lean are qualities of Wood. Being well rooted and not easily swayed by the 'winds' of change is a response in the face of tension. 

Problems surrounding Wood Element

The physical manifestation of diseases concerning Wood Element

The liver is a robust organ that controls Qi and Blood, and its dysfunction affects other parts of the body and organs. When the liver becomes overpowering it will restrain the earth element Qi and upset the digestive system. It can also cause people to live in the head and prevent them from remaining grounded. This can cause migraine or headache.  An overbearing liver can impact the lungs by causing a conflict between control and expressiveness. This can cause a build-up of phlegm.

On Qi level: stagnation or rebellion happen and this causes irritability, tightness in the chest, pulsating headache, nausea etc., fatigue, insomnia.

On Blood level: irregular periods, weakness in nails and joints, poor vision, insomnia etc. 

physical problems with eyes, conjunctivitis, extra-ocular muscles, balance, coordination symptoms i.e. Meniere's 

Muscular problems: cramps, tendonitis, overdeveloped musculature

The Emotional Aspects

The Liver houses Hun, the Ethereal Soul, who likes to wander through different dimensions at night. It is the source of our creativity. The freedom to explore is a requirement for creativity to flourish. 

There is no problem if you are able to do or have anything you want, but this is seldom the case. A society artificially creates restrictions, perhaps for the good and the safety of the majority. A family member or friend who matters to you can also set a boundary that you must fight to remove. This may come from competition for the available space. Also, you may even limit yourself because you find the challenge too big or you are being too lazy.

Once we have made up our mind, to do whatever it is to the best to our ability, the work becomes spiritually rewarding. 

The emotion associated with the Wood element is that of anger.

The keyword is Freedom.

Emotional issues concerning Wood Element: 

Anger, harshness, brittleness, angry about bad decisions, control issues, needs firmness, dislikes being controlled, needs direction, problem following others, needing structure, can not see the future, confused, disoriented, lack of understanding.

The emotion of Wood Element is “Anger”. It is a volatile emotion, so irritability, moodiness is a sign. Worry and sadness can also negatively affect Wood. Lack of balance of the wood element can cause melancholy or depression. The polar opposite of anger unexpressed is forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself and others for actual or perceived wrongs is critical in keeping the Wood healthy. 

Inability to decide one’s direction or goal or addressing properly one’s decisions. Wood Element is interior to Earth’s exterior. A case of a social situation; whom to work with has been chosen by Earth Element, how to work with or if ever is the issue of Wood Element. When the Wood is healthy there is a great sense of confidence and the ability to strike out in new directions. There is a vision of the future which is clear and sensible. The person knows their limits and abilities and acts accordingly.

As with the Earth Element, it is important to know that the issue is within our control and that it is our responsibility to determine our destiny.

Recommendation for a Successful Consultation:

The issues brought up to the table is often the case of hitting the wall. Your client has the energy and willingness to face the challenge. It is a matter of how to negotiate or tackle this obstacle. Is he the kind of person who would not bend his “rule”, even if it breaks him? Is he willing to take a detour in order to avoid confrontation? Find out through exploring different scent characters in Wood Element essential oils. Many of essential oils are “medicinal” type. Some are sharp, clean-cut, suggesting no compromise.  If your client chooses them, it may mean that he is the first type.  The second type of person may choose a more fresh and green scent. As a young plant, your client is more flexible about altering his attitude.

There is however, no right or wrong in choosing whichever type of scent. It helps to confirm and clear an ambivalence of his direction.

Medicinal Oils are not the meat and potatoes of the final blend. Using it sparingly with understanding and intention is more effective.