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Metal Controls Wood: The Five Elements & Your Health

chisel on wood

Five Element Theory is the basis of the form of Oriental Medicine offered at BIOM.

Five Element Theory is a fascinating set of insights understood by wise ancient doctors based on their observations of Nature and the effects it has on the health of people.

Metal Regulates Wood

According to Five Element Theory during each season of the year a specific organ system is the focal point of the seasonal energy coursing through the biosphere. The seasonal energy in Spring is the Wood element and is focused in the Liver.

5 element theory: regulation

As you can see by the direction of the arrows in the diagram above, the Wood element is regulated, or controlled, by the Metal element. This means that the health of your Lungs (Metal) has a direct effect on the health of your Liver (Wood). This relationship is easily understood when looked at through the practical filter of woodworking. Metal in the form of the chisel controls the shape of Wood. So Metal in the form of the Lungs affects the strength of your Liver energy, especially in Spring.

Because Lung energy is relatively weak in Spring, after working hard for the past six months of Autumn and Winter, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re likely to have trouble grounding the vibrant, pulsing Liver energy of Spring. It’s easy to see and understand why.

The energy flowing through our bodies in Spring is the same energy that has been forcing out the buds and blooms we’ve been seeing all around us, and consciously or not, registering as ‘Spring energy.’ This same energy gets concentrated in the Liver and tends to back up into the Lungs. This is why many people experience typical Spring-related Lung and Liver discomforts like: allergies, hives, asthma, restless leg, nervous irritation, frustration, anger and insomnia. Keep in mind though, while everyone’s body is different and experiences the symptoms of the season in a unique way, we’re all subject to the same energetic dynamics.


A BALANCED body and mind is a HEALTHY body and mind.

At BIOM, we’re exceedingly grateful that those ancient Chinese doctors were able to figure out the acupuncture, herbal, chi kung, and nutritional understandings that foster health and well-being; a cultural gift to humanity that people need now more than ever.

Related Links

Early Spring: Rebuilding Kidney Energy
Cultivate Kindness: Strategy For A Balanced Healthy Liver
Tips for Staying Healthy In Spring
Calm Your Spring Nerves
Mid-Spring Check-up—The Oriental Medicine Way

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.