So, as I am looking for a good way to procrastinate studying for my Traditional Chinese Medical Theory class, which I have a midterm in tomorrow, I can’t help but think about the Five Element Theory Seminar series I’m starting this Sunday.
Much of the basis of Chinese theory and medicine stems from Holism, an extraction of our view of the natural world and how it is represented in our bodies. The ancient Chinese theorized that our bodies are a smaller representation of the whole, or the universe, and that we are our healthiest when we act in accordance with nature. One of the ways in which they did this was by observing the natural world. What emerged was the Five Element Theory. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The elements like the seasons are constantly merging into one another, and changing over time, just like our bodies. By understanding the relationship that each of these elements has in nature, one can eventually start to understand the relationships formed within our human bodies to maintain health. In addition by understanding these dynamic relationships, we can also start to understand our fluctuating bodies, attitudes, changing personalities and degrees of health. Each of the elements has its own set of associations in Chinese Medicine. Each pertains to a set of Organ systems, a color, a season, a taste, a food, an emotion among endless others…
Here is a quick table
Wood: Liver/Gallbladder, Green, Spring, Sour, Anger
Fire: Heart/Small Intestine, Red, Summer, Bitter, Joy
Earth: Spleen/Stomach, Yellow, Late Summer, Sweet, Worry
Metal: Lung/Large Intestine, White, Fall, Acrid, Sadness
Water: Kidney/Bladder, Black, Winter, Salty, Fear
In addition to associations to the health and the body, the five elements are also associated to certain personality traits and body types. Now, this is the exciting part… what element are you? Ever since I signed up for my Five Element Classes, I’ve been taking every 5 Element Personality Quiz I can find. It’s pretty clear what I am (Metal & Water) and what I’m not (Wood), but I keep taking them, thinking one day, maybe I will be something different.
So in the spirit of my new classes, and procrastination, here are a couple of links to some different quizzes that I think you’ll enjoy!
The Longevity Center has a good test that they’ve basically taken from the book Between Heaven and Earth. This is probably the best one I’ve found.
Here is a good one too, though, you have to add up your numbers yourself to figure your score, you just have to scroll down a bit and you’ll see the test.
This one is great to see exactly what element is associated with what characteristics, but personally I like to be a little bit surprised after I’ve gone through all the questions.
Well, that should probably tide you over for the time being! Hope you enjoy and learn a little bit about yourself in the process.
Hopefully I will be able to share a little more with you on Five Element Theory in Medicine after my classes, but right now, I’ve got to get back to studying…