In my quest of acquiring knowledge about myself, how I relate to others and how others may perceive me, I have discovered the five elements in traditional Chinese medicine. It is uncanny how much I relate to the Water element. It’s as if someone looked inside the deep recesses of my mind and body and wrote it down for all to see, but more importantly, I have found myself. As I am learning about this, I look around and see that I have been innately drawn towards the colors, textures, and other sensory attributes of water. For those of you who don’t relate or understand, please allow me to briefly explain.
Water is said to be the beginning of all things. Nothing can grow or manifest without water. We, as humans, are mostly made up of water and we cannot sustain life without it. Water is receptive, cleansing, adaptable, healing and rejuvenating. Those who identify most with the water element are usually artistic and creative, seekers of truth, introspective, sensitive and highly intelligent. Their emotions run deep and when depleted by stress, they can become aloof. They will detach from others and go within, and if left in that state of mind for too long, they can become depressed or obsessive compulsive. When a Water person is balanced their gift is to bring calm energy to others around them. They are the nurturers and teachers in society. They have the patience to gently guide others to become the best versions of themselves. When unbalance occurs, they can become overly worrisome, absentminded, despondent and exhausted. Sleep can help rejuvenate the Water person as well as hydrotherapy. In other words, when feeling overwhelmed and overly emotional, take a warm, soothing bath right before going to bed. Make sure to get plenty of sleep. The water person needs time to rejuvenate. Also, make sure and drink plenty of water throughout the day. The Water person needs water to replenish the body, after all.
The bodily organs associated with the Water element are the kidneys and bladder. Also, the skin, hair, and bones. Fear is the emotion associated with the Water element. The kidneys regulate water metabolism, and stabilize the heart and blood pressure. It is interesting to note that the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. We know that if we are constantly stressing the adrenal glands, we will become exhausted and experience great fatigue. Traditional Chinese medicine is very old and seemingly out of date, on the surface, but when you begin to compare what we know as modern medicine to that of Chinese medicine, there is no doubt that there are some amazing similarities. The bladder is compared to a reservoir where the waters of the body are collected until they are eliminated. It is important that this organ functions properly and not become “leaky.” The entire body of systems are in danger of toxicity when that occurs.
The emotion associated with the Water element is fear. When the Water person is out of balance, their emotions can become inundated with fear and phobias. Obsessive compulsive behaviors and panic attacks can manifest. It is important to listen to your body. Rest when you need to. Don’t become overly exhausted, either mentally, physically or emotionally. When you do, make time to get yourself back in balance. Meditate everyday, especially to the sounds of water or if you can, meditate by a body of water, such as a lake, stream, ocean, a bubbling brook. Even looking at art depicting water can help. I have always been attracted to art that focuses on water and never knew why. Now I know. If your primary element is Water, surround yourself in the colors of water. I find this especially useful in my bedroom. When I want to contemplate life, meditate or reflect, I retreat to my bedroom. I am surrounded by the colors of water. The wall color is teal, my favorite color. The bedding is soft and flowing with shades of teal, aqua and white. Black is also a color of water. There are small doses of black in there as well in the lamps, headboard and curtain rods. The colors associated with Water are blue, black, white and gray. Personally, I have added the colors of the ocean, hence the teal.
The five elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal. The Greeks only have four. I found my way to the five elements by first exploring what the Greek’s called the four humors. I realized very early on that only having four is quite limiting. I couldn’t quite fully accept it. I am still in the knowledge gathering phase and will most likely write about it in more depth in time. I am in awe of relating to the Water element. It explains so much about who I am. None of us are fully one predominant element. We have all elements within us in varying degrees. I am a blend, but I am predominantly Water.
Why the desire to learn about this? Why would any of us need to learn this? I became interested in alternative and integrative healing modalities several years ago. I wanted to act upon my interests back then, but felt that I needed to address my own health situation before I could counsel others. I am still on the journey, but I have made much progress and I am ready to begin upon the path of helping others. I currently work in healthcare, but I am not quite to the point of where I want to be. My goal is to become a holistic healthcare practitioner and I am at the very beginning of my life path. I have already met with many obstacles, but instead of looking at them with dread, I am seeing them as opportunities for growth. I sincerely believe that everyone who comes across our path is there for a reason. Maybe they have something to teach me or I have something to teach them. Or it could be that no action is required on my part, but maybe I simply need to observe and take note. Life is a journey. We can either look at it with dread and fear or face it head-on with anticipation and a willingness to learn, to become the best version of who we are. That is my gift – to help others become the best version of themselves. I am deeply emotional and sensitive. And when I am in my “element,” I have much to offer to others through insight and instruction. I fully accept my Water element. I am adaptable, yet I am strong. I have become that which tries to contain me. I am a nurturer, a teacher, an advocate, a healer. My personal challenge is to stay balanced so that fear and detachment does not overtake me.
For those of us who are predominantly Water, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Coffee, sodas, milk and juices need water to completely break down. We need to drink plenty of water. We might need to drink a little extra as Water people. We need to eat blue, black and purple foods for the anthocyanins that concentrate in the kidneys and brain. Choose foods such as blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, cherries, black currants, cranberries, radishes, purple grapes, and red, (purple) onions. Avoid added sugars. Get plenty of rest and get used to slowing down as the sun sets. Avoid excessive exposure to artificial light at nighttime. Learn to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Are you hungry or are you tired? Are you hungry or are you thirsty? Are you hungry or are you stressed out? I recognize patterns in myself. My go-to comfort is food. I literally have to ask myself these questions. Am I truly hungry or do I need something else? Most of the time I am not hungry, but something else. As I realize that I am working in an environment that is not helpful to my body. It is too chaotic. It drains my energy. I am going to seek ways to reduce stress while I search for a better working environment. And last but not least, practice Tai Chi or Qi Gong, get regular massages and acupuncture treatments, meditate everyday, take regular soothing, warm therapeutic baths, learn to observe others and myself without judgment, in other words – learn the lessons along the journey. I will also continue to create my personal haven in my bedroom by hanging some artwork depicting water across from my bed so that first thing in the morning, I am reminded of who I am and that’s okay to be myself, just as I am.