Gay Landeta TCM Elements 2

Here in Queensland we are well into Spring; In fact we have even had a few hot summer nights but we will likely still be fluctuating between warm jammies with a hot drink and cool drinks and a fan for another few weeks. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) these times of change open the door for much healing. Much of kinesiology is based on TCM wisdom and utilises the chaos of change to make the energy shifts required for long term change. 

This article outlines how you can use the wisdom of TCM to find your balance once again. 


The colour green signifies spring. This is the wood element and, as in spring, it is time to transform and make choices, let go of the old and begin the creation of the new. The sound associated with this element is shouting and the feeling is anger. While in the west we may consider anger inappropriate, it is so only when used inappropriately. Within it lies the energy of boundaries and clarity about who we are.

Summer follows spring and the colour of summer is red.This is the fire element and contains the fires of passion.In Chinese medicine the heart energy lies here as does the energy of assimilation, understanding and moving forward.The energy of Will is strong here.In the fire element the emotion is joy and the sound is laughter.

Once the heat of summer is over it becomes time to re-group before autumn arrives, Indian Summer in North America. I used to love this time of year, it feels sort of timeless. This grounding element, Earth, is the colour yellow and contains the energy of reflection and contentment. At this time we make balanced decisions about our life. In the Earth element you will find compassion. The sound is singing.

Autumn follows, the element of metal and the purity of white. Precise and clear. This element holds our self worth. At this time we begin to let go of the old as insights emerge. In metal lies the sound of crying and the feelings of grief. This feeling is often difficult for us, but it is essential to grieve the loss of the old to create the space for the new.

Finally the cycle enters winter, the water element. The dissolution of the old and the stillness while waiting for the new. Winter is the colour blue. This time fears emerge and inner direction is needed before moving once again into the renewal of spring. The sound of winter is groaning, like the trees in winter wind!

In the Shen cycle each phase follows the other other naturally and easily. We synchronistically move from ideas into actions, then into re-considering, slowing, stopping and letting go, moving gracefully through the phases.

Unfortunately many of us end up in what TCM practitioners call the Ko cycle, or the control cycle, lurching from wood to earth to metal to fire. Chaotically moving from reacting, instead of responding and then growing before we have finished letting go.

So how can we regain balance once we find ourselves in the chaotic Ko cycle?

1. Stop and listen to where you are in the cycle, notice if you are roaring into the next phase before completion of the present.

2. Experience the element you are stuck in – or avoiding – and explore the feelings, the sounds and/or the colour. You may notice an extreme reaction – love or hate – to the sound or the colours of the one that is over or under energised. Explore the concepts of the season you are stuck in or avoiding. Play with the energy to discover why you are stuck.

For example, you may feel out of phase with the wood element, unable to transform the old or make choices about the new. You may be angry and shouting or unable to express yourself at all. You may detest the colour green or be drawn to wearing it constantly. To transform this element consider if you need to sacrifice something for the sake of the greater i.e. let go to grow. One way to shift this energy is to find a quiet place to scream and yell, then fill yourself with the colour green or spend some time in the green of nature filling your senses.

3. Learn to feel the flow of the Shen Cycle; sit in meditation with each colour in order. Green, red, yellow, white and then blue. Imagine yourself in a room of each colour or fill yourself with the colour in whatever shade is right for you. You may want to spend more or less time in each, allow yourself to flow in your own natural rhythm and relax into the gentle flow of the Shen cycle.

And if it that still leaves you feeling chaotic consider calling your acupuncturist or come and get a balance and regain the peace of the Shen cycle. 🙂

This article was written by Gay Landeta to help you to Create The Life You Want To Live copyright 2014 all rights reserved