How The Five Elements in Acupuncture influence you discover time-tested tips to help you feel your best.
First I want to start by saying how grateful I am of your classes and teaching of Reb Nachman for the past 5 years that I have been listening It has helped me tremendously in my practice and running my wellness Center. When I saw you friday after davening you asked me to speak about how the five elements in acupuncture influence the organs. I’m humbled that you asked me to speak. let’s jump right into it. LIke in this week parsha Nachshon had to jump in the water to split the sea. With Hashem help will jump and split the sea.
The Five elements theory in Acupuncture is a framework used to explain how we’re influenced by the world and how the organs of the body interact with each other.
The five elements are: Wood, fire, earth, metal or water
Liver, Heart, Stomach, Lungs, Kidneys
When not in balance this is how the manifest Anger, Anxiety, Worry, Sadness/Grief, Fear
The Eight PrinciplesYin: Yang: Interior. Exterior: Heat: Cold: Deficiency: Excess:
- How the elements influence you Physically and emotionally
- Case examples for each one
- Lifestyle tips -foods and herbs, movement, Rest, etc.
What does being influenced by the wood element say about you?
When you’re in balance, you’re a kind-hearted soul who excels at creating clear visions, goals and plans, and can pride yourself on your decision-making skills.Much like a tree, your tendency is to focus upwards and outwards. You’re always striving for growth and expansion, and looking for new challenges to overcome.
When they are out of balance, you may find yourself getting stressed easily, perhaps accompanied by tightness in the neck and shoulders and/or a tendency to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. You might also become irritable, prone to a bad temper and Headaches, In Acupuncture the liver is involved in digestion and detoxification, acts as the storehouse for the blood, and ensures that both blood and qi (life force energy) are able to flow smoothly around the body. If the liver organ-meridian system is out of balance, the liver qi may become stagnant or sluggish.
LV QI Stagnation – one of the famous diagnosis especially in today’s stressful world
Some of the symptoms are pain and feeling of distension in the Ribs, depression, disorders of menstruation, lower abdominal pain.
Had a patient that lost his mother and was angry. He came in with rib pain, headache, and shoulders pain. He also was experiencing depression and we know from psychology that Anger not expressed in the healthy way could create depression and sadness. After the acupuncture treatment he was able to open up and He felt much better afterwards.
Some tips for a healthy Liver:
- There are herbs that help support healthy liver function, soothe liver qi and regulate its flow.
- liver qi stagnation can sometimes interfere with menstrual regularity and cause period pain and PMS symptoms and there are herbs for that as well.
- Keep your Qi moving incorporate vigorous forms of exercise like running, boxing into your routine.
- Enjoy green foods and sour flavors Eat plenty of green-coloured foods and sour flavors like lemon juice
- At the same time, avoid alcohol, coffee and sugar. When you need a pick-me-up, reach for peppermint tea instead;
- Work hard, rest deeply Make it a priority to balance your hard-working nature with regular times of rest and relaxation.
A person is usually energetic, passionate and strong-willed. they inspire others with their charisma, courage, creativity, wisdom and intuition, helping them to believe that it’s possible for dreams to come true. Their natural tendency is to be joyful, and to delight in the company of others.
On the other hand, when you’re out of balance, you may become over-excited, experience mild anxiety symptoms or have difficulty sleeping.
After Oct 7, we have seen a lot more Anxiety patients in our clinic. one of my patients had heart palpitations, insomnia, Anxiety and poor memory. This is a classic diagnosis of Kidney and Heart Not Harmonized. The heart being of balance is affecting the kidney causing these symptoms. In this case, an acupuncture treatment with some herbal formula calmed her nervous system and helped her sleep better.
Lifestyle tips for the fire constitution:
- Nurture your nervous system. Start by taking active steps to manage your stress levels with meditation and relaxation techniques.
- Stay cool Next, make sure not to get overheated. Drink lots of water, avoid very hot weather, and include small servings of bitter foods in your diet, as they’re traditionally regarded as having cooling properties.
- Enjoy red-coloured foods Red foods are traditionally considered good for a fire constitution too, so enjoy tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries. And when it’s hot, treat yourself to some watermelon, which is traditionally said to cool heat in the heart organ-meridian system.
Stomach/earth/worry and overthinking
Earth people are solid, dependable and a loyal friend who excels at forming long-term relationships and deep connections with others. You value peace, harmony and stability in all things, and you’re often found in a mediation or peace-making role, helping others resolve their differences and arrive at the middle ground.
However, when you’re out of balance, you might find yourself prone to confusion, over-thinking, giving so much to others that you wear yourself out, craving sweets, or experiencing digestive problems.
One of my patients who is in real estate was stressed and came in with Digestive disorder. he had stomach pain, acid reflux, bloating after eating, alternating constipation and diarrhea. This is famous diagnosis for Liver overacting of Spleen. Here we see how the Liver organ is affecting the Stomach and digestion. when you’re stressed, it’s especially important to take care of your earth element, stomach and spleen in order to maintain healthy digestion.
Lifestyle tips for the earth constitution:
- Aromatic spices to warm up your meals Aromatic herbs like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom are good options for you too
- Focus on your digestion Your primary health goal is to nurture your digestive system, so prioritize simple foods with mild tastes. it’s best to avoid consuming food and beverages straight from the fridge or freezer. Foods that are warm or at room temperature are a better options.
- Enjoy yellow-coloured foods, and a little bit of sweetness Sweet corn, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato are excellent options. Don’t take this as permission to overdose on sweets though – you still need to keep your blood sugar level balanced.
- Move and meditate to clear your thoughts walking is the perfect form of exercise for you because it’s both energizing and a great way to clear your thoughts.
- Build meditation and other practices that help break the cycle of over-thinking into your daily routine too.
Metal people are known for your high level of personal integrity, disciplined, rational approach to life, an appreciation of beauty.
Disorder and chaos are not to your liking at all, and you may become overly critical at times, especially when you perceive that others are breaking the rules.
(The lung organ-meridian is also responsible for a special form of qi called defensive qi, which circulates beneath the surface of the body (referred to as the ‘exterior’ in TCM), where it helps defend against illness – in a similar way to the Western medicine concept of the immune system. As a result, having strong defensive qi helps reduce susceptibility to minor illnesses – you might like to think of it as your protective shield.)
out of balance you may become prone to mild respiratory conditions like common colds and flu, or to experiencing mild allergy symptoms, dry skin or mild rashes.
Had a patient come in with a Frozen Shoulder. She said it started 2 months ago right around Oct 7. She did say she felt sad and worried about Israel. In this case we gave her a treatment to balance and to open up the Qi stagnation. After the treatment she felt more loss and with more mobility. The LI channel also has a connection to the shoulder and the Lung channel and What’s interesting is that she has a rush after in the area which is connected to the lungs.
Lifestyle tips for the metal constitution:
Focus on your breathing. Deep-breathing techniques are best because they help your lungs to circulate qi around your body. Try practicing qigong is great.
- Enjoy white foods and pungent flavorsThe Metal element is associated with pungent tastes, so make sure to include garlic, onion, ginger and shallots in your meals from time to time.
- White is the color traditionally associated with the lung organ-meridian so enjoy foods that are white or have white centers. Think button mushrooms, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, almonds, pears and apples – but not refined or processed foods like white bread and sugar.
- On the other hand, avoid foods traditionally believed to promote the formation of mucus, which include dairy foods, sweets and fried foods.
- Stay social Personal connections play an important part in wellbeing, so maintain an active social life and make an effort to participate in community-based activities.
People with strong willpower, a determined nature, and a tendency to be self-sufficient and independent. they seek of knowledge and understanding,
On the other hand, you can sometimes be so introspective and focused on your inner world that you become withdrawn from others or speak before you think, without realizing that what you’re about to say may ruffle a few feathers! You may also be prone to becoming fearful.
(In addition to the kidneys themselves and all aspects of urinary function, this organ-meridian system regulates and maintains all the body’s fluids and balances yin and yang in the body.)
(The health of the kidneys is also considered vital for the reproductive organs, the ears and the bones, so they’re regarded as the foundation of good health.)
(Another function of the kidney organ-meridianis to act as the storehouse for Jing, a form of life force energy that declines with age. The kidneys and water are therefore closely associated with healthy transition through each of life’s stages, from the growth and development that occurs during childhood right through to the aging process.)
As a water person, if you’re out of balance, you may be susceptible to issues that affect the kidney organ-meridian system, like problems with fluid balance, needing to urinate frequently, reduced libido, or experiencing mild aches and pains in your joints especially those of the knees and lower back.
(In women, menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness may be related to imbalances in the kidney organ-meridian system too, and in particular to a deficiency of kidney yin, according to TCM)
Patient came in with Dizziness, Lower back pain, Vertical headache, dry eyes, night sweating,
This women was experiencing menopausal symptoms like hot flushes this is related to imbalances in Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency. We are able to balance this with acupuncture and chinese herbs.
Lifestyle tips for the water constitution:
Preserve your jing: That means a healthy lifestyle that accompanies nutritious food, regular exercise and time in the fresh air should be high on your agenda. Make sure you drink enough water, and avoid stimulants like coffee, cola and energy drinks too.
Head for the water : You’ll feel at your best when you’re in or near water, so swimming in the ocean or even walking at the beach are great exercise choices for you.
Enjoy blue-black foods and a pinch of salt: The color black is associated with the Water element in TCM, so include plenty of blue-black foods on your menu. Good options include plums, dates, black beans, eggplant, wood ear mushrooms and black sesame seeds.
The taste associated with the water element is saltiness, so a little bit of salt is considered beneficial for you.
Stay socially connected: Although you like to be independent, avoid becoming too isolated. Socializing is good for your physical wellbeing and your mental health, and helps keep you feeling energized and vital, especially as you get older.