Q: I’ve heard that in Chinese medicine your personality is related to the “five elements.” What are these, and how do they affect your health?
A: According to the school of Chinese medicine known as Five Element Acupuncture, there are five distinct personality types. Each is represented by one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Depending on which personality type you are, you tend to have certain characteristics. By understanding your type, you and your Chinese medicine practitioner can develop a plan to help you achieve great health. Whatever your type is, the goal is to create balance in your life.
Wood types tend to be ambitious and competitive; they are apt to be leaders in their field, or elite athletes. Because Wood types are very driven, they often experience stress-related conditions like high blood pressure, premenstrual syndrome, headaches, and tight muscles. If you are a Wood type, creating a balanced life can mean taking time to replenish your energy, eat healthy food, and avoid alcohol.
Fire types are fun, charismatic people with tremendous enthusiasm for whatever they do. But when Fire types have too much excitement in their lives, they are prone to anxiety, insomnia, and depression. If you are a Fire type, you can help maintain balance in your life by meditating daily, eating regular meals, and keeping your energy focused on what is most important.
Earth types are compassionate, loving people who tend to be caretakers. When Earth types give too much and neglect themselves, they often experience digestive problems. Earth types can best achieve harmony and balance in their lives by avoiding sweets, eating cooked foods, and maintaining healthy emotional boundaries.
Metal types are self-disciplined, inventive, and detail-oriented; they are likely to be artists and intellectuals. When their lives are out of balance, they are apt to have upper respiratory infections like colds and flus. If you are a Metal type, you can promote balance in your life by doing regular aerobic exercise and maintaining creative outlets for stress.
Finally, Water types are seekers of truth and wisdom; they are strong-willed, and they thrive in quiet, tranquil environments. When their health is imbalanced, they tend to manifest conditions associated with the kidneys and bladder. If you are a Water type, you can maintain balance in your life by drinking plenty of fluids and socializing regularly so you don’t become too emotionally isolated.
Article was originally printed in the Honolulu Advertiser, honoluluadvertiser.com