5 Elements of Life…an alternative look at living

Metal Element..looking after the Lungs and Large Intestine…Mining for precious metal..how to find the gold in family relationships.

In the Chinese system of Five Element Theory the months August to November are classed as The Metal Element period and the work you do here prepares the body for winter. In physical terms, as alternative therapists we give practical advice on looking after the Lungs and Large Intestine which may not function properly and be damaged by colds/flu and upset stomachs. We also deal with the emotional aspects associated with the element. Grief and Change. So how do we apply the theory to the emotional side of family relationships? Let’s see!

The Metal Element is associated with three major physical and psychological traits:

  • Finance
  • Authority
  • Boundaries

Each one is a logical step to the way we view our family life over the next few weeks. Each one has the potential for both grief and change. The Chinese view of the metal element is linked to the three points in the following way

  • Cash flow
  • Family structure
  • Ethics

We’ll take them one at a time.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 7.36.11 PMFinance: The precious metal is viewed as gold, but in the context of housekeeping we can look at cash flow the vital element for keeping a relationship on an even keel. Along with this comes our strategy to mine that precious metal by hard work, initiative, daring and the exchange of money for goods, services and love So is cash flow precious to you? Has it caused grief and has it changed your life?

boss_kid_thumbAuthority: The Chinese saw one aspect of Metal as authority, as the “father figure” in a relationship. We are talking about the figures who command, or demand, authority. If this is one of us then how do we achieve authority and having achieved it, how do we use it? How did your father demand authority and respect? The two often do not go together. How did you react?

buissness-man-arms-folded-mdBoundaries: The analogy with Metal is more easily seen here, metal fences, metal armour. Where do you place your own boundaries when you deal with people? When in your life do you hate people getting too close to you? Do you let people walk all over you? Or do you often stand three or four steps away from a colleague with your arms folded as a barrier? Or has it been your experience that people walk all over you?

When we look at the psychological aspects of The Five Elements in terms of Metal we can put some bones on the generalizations of the first three points

  • For Finance we introduce Cash Flow, the amount of precious metal we have at our disposal at any particular time and how hard we have to work to obtain it. There is a plethora of stories about the ease, or the difficulties, prospectors had to locate and mine the seams of gold they had right under their feet. As adults some of us have learned the systems for managing cash flow so that it’s there at our finger tips; some of us haven’t.
  • Are you Authoritarian in your leadership? The “father figure” of the family (whether male or female) and how do you earn that title of Boss. Have you built relationships on respect and bringing people with you? Or fear? Think back to the relationship to you had with your father, how was the relationship honed? Now take a look at how you interact with family and colleagues and ask yourself if you’re setting good standards for your peers and your children.
  • Where are your boundaries? Your ethics. Would you do anything to get the house you desire? Would you walk over a friend to get the job you desire? Would you lie to your partner or children? If you were asked if you can “Go to bed at night and not be ashamed.” Could you answer “Yes?” And would that just mean that you have a low concept of shame?

The Metal Element is associated with your Lungs and Large Intestine meridians. Breathing is the separation of oxygen and carbon dioxide and large intestine’s job is to separate the impure from the pure and extract the liquid from the matter we eat so it can pass out of the body as a solid mass.

Our own Metal Element is the separation of our beliefs and our actions. The Metal Element (autumn) is followed by the Water Element (winter) and the belief is that if we look after our Lungs and our Large Intestine throughout the months of August/September and October our bodies will be better protected in the winter. If we look after the way we interact with our fellow citizens by being honest it will better prepare us for the elements of winter to come.

Ernie is a qualified Shiatsu Practitioner using 5 Element theory to balance both the physical and the emotional challenges of modern day life. He can be contacted on ernie@balancehealth-fitness.co.ukon www.balancehealth-fitness.co.uk or Call him on 07962 216833

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