The Five Element Theory is a Chinese philosophy used to describe interactions and relationships between things. The five element theory includes: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. It is believed the fundamental elements are everything in the universe between which interactions occur.
The elements of the earth interact in many ways by either inhibiting or nourishing another element. This works in a star shaped pattern as you see above. Earth destroys water (if you fill a pond up with dirt, it will destroy the pond). Metal destroys wood (An axe made of metal would destroy a forest). Water inhibits fire (pouring water on a fire would extinguish the fire). Not only can an element inhibit another element, but they can also nourish one another. Water creates earth (rain waters the plants which help them grow). This pattern goes around in a circle. As you can see the elements work together to keep the earth thriving and all should be in equal balance. In the same way the earth elements work we should have an equal balance in ourselves and in our homes to have the best flow of Chi (life force energy).
Each element is also associated with a sound, emotion, taste, muscle, and climate. When you know which you are most dominant or weak in, you can take that information to create balance in your life. To create the best flow of life force energy or Chi. This is very similar to a yin yang balance, but more refined.
Grab a pen and paper, then, jot down your answers to the following questions. When you are done, please count how many answers you have in each color. At the very bottom of this page there is a description on what each color means. The color in which you have the highest number is your most dominant element. Take the quiz twice. On the first round answer what is your favorite. Then, on the second round answer what is your least favorite answer. After reading your result, what do you think? Does that element describe you?
The Purple answers represent the Metal Element.
If your answers were mostly Blue, this represents the Water Element.
Green answers go with the element, Wood.
Red answers go with the element of Fire.
If your answers were mostly grey, that represents the Earth Element.
Did you enjoy this quiz? Please Share This with your friends! Interested to see which meridian pathways are holding the most tension on your feet? Book a Reflexology Massage! Comment below if you’d like to share your result and what it means to you. To learn about what Reflexology is, click here!
Is eastern medicine something that interests you? You may enjoy this book, “Staying Healthy With the Seasons” by. Elson M. Haas.
With the season changing from summer to autumn we are naturally going to eat more warm foods. Autumn is a time of harvest and fruition of all the growth of spring and summer. Metal in the Chinese Five Element Theory is associated with autumn, and represents the mineral ores and salts of the Earth. Some spices that feel warm include garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, ginger and pepper. Bone broths are one way to stay healthy and warm through the seasonal change as well. This season is well known for foraging root vegetables and storing fresh foods for the winter. For example, canning and freezing fresh fruits and vegetables to make it through the winter. It is also symbolic of change (leaves changing color), and people focusing more on their household and unfinished projects.
I would like to share with you my favorite autumn harvest soup recipe to kickstart this chilly season. This autumn harvest soup contains all the elements symbolic of the season, such as, root vegetables, salt, warm spices, bone broth, and lots of color. Cozy up with this warm soup, a cup of hot tea and a blanket. Make a list of those unfinished projects you want to tackle while staying indoors more in the coming months ahead. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Step 1: In a large pot, add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high. After it’s hot, add the onion and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and fresh ginger. Stire and cook for 3 minutes, adding in extra water or broth as needed. Stir in the tumeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2: Add in the water or bone broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add in the kale, cabbage and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of simmering.
Step 3: Pour into mason jars or a large pitcher and enjoy all week!
If you enjoyed the addition of eastern medicine theory in this post, you may enjoy trying a 30min foot reflexology massage. Reflexology is based on integrating four theories in the feet. The four theories being structural alignment, zone, meridians and psychoneuroimmunology theory. To learn more about Reflexology click HERE!
Also, if you enjoyed this information about autumn and it’s symbolism, you would also enjoy this book: Staying Healthy with the Seasons
Reflexology is a four theory approach of applying acupressure to the feet in order to promote healing. This includes structural alignment, zones, meridians and psychoneuroimmunology theories. By considering four different theories, we are honoring the complexity of the human body in several approaches. Foot reflexology is a map on the feet, of the entire body. Each point represents a different part of the body and it’s symbolism. The benefits are: decreased stress, increased circulation and more flexibility in the joints of the feet.
Structural Alignment Theory serves to explain the physical component of reflexology and how physical manipulation in the feet can create physical changes in the rest of the body. This includes gait pattern, how the feet affect posture, how the fascia system connects everything in the body, and the three arches of the foot. Do you pronate or sink in your medial arch? How will this action affect the body? The type of shoes we wear is also an indicator of how the body posture changes.
Zone Theory is the idea that the body can be mapped out into different zones. If you draw longitudinal lines across your body from head to toe you will have 4 zones going up and down. Then splitting the bottom of the foot into 4 horizontal zones and seeing which area of the body crosses over the other. This helps determine the location of the body that correlates with that zone of the foot. For example if you tend to walk on the later side of your foot it will affect the lateral side of your body, but if you put more pressure on heel strike more often, this zone represents pelvic and leg issues. So for that gait pattern it indicated you likely have lateral hip, knee and ankle tension or pain.
Meridian Theory is where the Eastern influence meets the Western practice of reflexology. There are a set of points and pathways throughout the body based on Chinese Medicine. The belief is that certain points on the feet correlate with different organs and systems of the body. Coincidentally, the points also match the coordinates for Zone theory. This theory uses organs of the body and elements of the earth to symbolize many things. A meridian is an invisible channel through which Chi (life force energy) flows throughout the body.
An example, is that the kidneys hold water. In Chinese medicine the water element represents “canal people”. Picture a dam holding water back from overflowing a canal. When things are not going well, their levy will break. People with an imbalance on the kidney point, could be feeling overwhelmed, guarded or even fearful. This element also represents the sound of groaning and the winter season. There are five elements in Chinese medicine and two organs that go with each element. The meridian points can tell you a lot about a person.
The last of the four theories is Psychoneuroimmunology theory which is based on the connection between the nervous system, immune system and the emotions. It is commonly agreed upon by the scientific community that there is a direct relationship between stress and disease. Many of us believe that we know how to relax, but the reality is that our bodies no longer remember how to fully relax into a state that allows for healing to take place. Psychoneuroimmunology investigates the interaction between the brain, the nervous system and the immune system. This is the mind- body connection that shows evidence that stress affects both the brain chemistry and function of our immune system. Reflexology stimulates this system through the feet.
Reflexology is a fully clothed 30min foot massage utilizing the four theories of structural alignment, zones, meridians and psychneuroimmunology. Expect to feel less stress, more flexibility in your feet and gain new knowledge of your body. Clients who really enjoy this style of massage are people who stand on their feet a lot, have plantar fasciitis, diabetics with poor foot circulation, athletes wanting to gain insight on their gait pattern, or any person who would enjoy the relaxing benefits of a 30min foot massage.
This modality can also be booked in combination with a 60minutes full body massage. During a 90 minute session of 30min foot reflexology plus 60minutes of full body, I can tell if the tension in your feet matches the rest of your body. You can book a reflexology session with me by clicking HERE! To take a fun quiz to find out which Chinese Element you are most dominant in, click HERE!
If you are a massage therapist who would love to learn the art of reflexology, I encourage you to sign up for a course with Claire Marie Miller.
I had the opportunity last Friday to take a continuing education course for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation/IASTM with focus on Rockblades. Rockblades, have four distinct edges so you can maneuver the tool around different boney surfaces depending on which area of the body you are treating. The tools have several techniques that can be used which is gliding over a muscle to assess the tissue (feeling for grainy texture or bumps), feathering (for painful areas), scraping, oscillation (vibration) and chopping. The techniques used focus on releasing fascia around adhesions/scar tissue, with a goal of pain relief and returning the body to functional movement. The course focused on proprioceptive neurological training of the muscles. Using sensory stimulation of internal force (Golgi receptors), Rapid Pressure (Pacinian receptors, much like fast movements that wake the muscle up and get ready for a sports activity), Ruffini receptors (long holds like releasing trigger points) and interceptors (light touch). Using a variation of receptors depending on the goal of the client, rockblades, help bring the body into functional movement faster than other therapeutic methods and in a non painful approach. Changing the angle of the tool and depth it allows for more intense or less intense treatment.
I am very excited to add this to my massage treatments. If you would like to try it out please mention it to me otherwise look forward to me suggesting it! We were also taught different assessments, utilizing a squat test, one legged balance and lunge test. The tests help discover what areas of the body to target and treat. The idea is to bring the body back into balance before fitness training to prevent injury. Treat the muscles and imbalances, then begin a fitness or exercise plan to strengthen the muscles.
I was able to take this class for free as a veteran benefit the PESI institute now provides for veterans working in the health and wellness field. I am so appreciative to have been able to take this training. Thank you PESI institute!