Balancing and supporting our mental/emotional energy

According to Chinese medicine our health and well-being are maintained when there is balance and harmony in body, mind, and spirit.

What does this mean to be balanced and in harmony?

There is a universal Life Force energy that flows in everything around us and in us. The movement of energy in nature can be observed by the movement of the seasons.

In Chinese medicine each season correlates with an element. Water is winter, wood is spring, fire is summer, earth is late summer, and metal is fall. We are connected to nature. Therefore, the same Life Force energy flows in us.

Each element correlates with a yin-yang pair that make up the organs of the body.

Water: Bladder, kidney.
Wood: Gallbladder, Liver.
Fire: Small intestines, heart; triple burner function (thermostat), heart protector/pericardium.
Earth: Stomach, spleen.
Metal: Large intestines, lungs.

The energy of each element also corresponds to every aspect of our being, at the physical, mental/emotional, and spirit level. In this article I'd like to share some information about how the Elements correspond to the mental/emotional level, and the full range of emotions we experience as human beings.

In life, all the emotions have their appropriate and healthy time and place. Emotions are an expression of our Life Force energy and when we are balanced, we can freely feel, express, and release our emotions. But what happens when we cannot freely feel, express and freely release emotions? Emotional energy can become blocked, stuck, or create an imbalance in the body.

When we have many stresses, it can be a daily challenge just to stay balanced. When our energy is strong, resilient, and balanced we can deal with the ups and down of daily life, including the mental/emotional level. Sometimes when life becomes too hard, the first signs of imbalance are often felt at the mental/emotional level.

When issues go on for an extended period of time and are not resolved, they can lead to mental/emotional conditions, or even physical level dis-ease.

When we are in a balance the elements grant us the capacity to express these gifts of mental/emotional expression:

Water: Appropriate fear, trust, faith, courage, reassurance.
Wood: Appropriate anger, direction, assertion, self-esteem, clarity, intention.
Fire: Joy, elation, spirit, relationship/partnership, connection, open heart.
Earth: Sympathy, nurturing, understanding, groundedness.
Metal: Appropriate grief, self-worth, purpose, inspiration, acknowledgment, respect.

When mental/emotional expressions are not resolved, the elements may begin to show signs that we need balance and support:

Water: Constant fear, need for control, stress, anxiety.
Wood: Unresolved anger, frustration, indecision, irritability, depression.
Fire: Lack of connection, sadness, disconnection, bitterness, lack of joy, closed heart.
Earth: Obsessive worry, overthinking, lack of sympathy, lack of nurturing.
Metal: Emptiness, low self-worth, pointlessness, unresolved grief.

We all have the gifts of the five elements within us. Our mental/emotional state is an expression of what we need to stay balanced and whole.

When we feel out of balance, the mental/emotional gifts of the elements can be a road map to regain your balance and harmony.

If you find yourself feeling stressed, full of anxiety, or the need to control the unknown, look to the gifts of the water element. Do you need faith, courage and trust?

If you find yourself feeling irritable, frustrated, or depressed, look to the gifts of the wood element. Do you need direction, assertion, self-esteem, clarity, intention?

If you find yourself feeling a lack of connection, sadness, or bitterness, look to the gifts of the fire element. Do you need joy, partnership, connection, open heartedness?

If you find yourself feeling worried, ungrounded, a lack of nurturing, look to the gifts of the eEarth element. Do you need sympathy, nurturing, understanding?

If you find yourself feeling emptiness, lack of purpose, unending grief, look to the gifts of the metal element. Do you need respect, inspiration, acknowledgment?

These are some of the ways that our mental/emotional expressions point us to what we need. In times of stress, take some time to explore the mental/emotional gifts of the five elements within you, and how they can support your ongoing health and well-being.

Wendy Weiss has been practicing Five Element Acupuncture for 30 years. She has offices in Lakeport and Lower Lake. For more information she can be reached at 707-277-0891 or visit her website at