The Wood element and its energetics remind us of spring. To use one word – determination! In the spring all the seeds that hid underground during the winter months, spring up and grow toward the sky. Even on a cement sidewalk, we see small flowers breaking through, in their attempt to grow, higher and taller closer to the sun!
When the Wood energy is balanced, one has a clear ambition to reach the top. He or she would move mountains to achieve goals. If unchecked, the same energy can cause a person to hurt anyone standing in the way. The same energy that fuels determination also fuels anger, which is the emotion corresponding to the Wood element.
If the Wood element is out of balance, a person would be easily annoyed and angered.
Upward energy is the direction of the Wood element, and we experience it when we get angry, as blood rushes to the head. Possible pathologies such as headaches, migraines and high blood pressure all stem from this aspect.
The liver and the gallbladder are associated with the Wood element. According to Chinese medicine, these two organs are in charge of planning and decision-making, respectively. The liver is said to “open to the eyes” – and provides the visionary aspect of planning.
The gallbladder channel runs along the sides of the body and hips, which allow us to make choices when we reach a fork in the road. Possible pathologies related to this aspect are eye floaters, glaucoma, Cataract, hip pain, temporal headaches, and difficulty in decision-making.
The aspect of the Mind/Spirit relating to the Wood element is the “Hun”, the ethereal soul. The Hun is the part of us that wants to connect to the divine, similar to the seed that comes from the earth and aspires toward Heaven. It is the aspect of the mind that allows us to dream, connects us to our eyes and vision, which never stops, even while asleep. When the Wood element is out of balance, insomnia, nightmares and daydreams may occur.
The color of the element is naturally green. Just think of Spring. When it comes to food anything that is green, and shoots up, benefits the Wood element. Bamboo shoots, asparagus, and celery are a few examples. Sour is the flavor associated with the element. Sour has an astringent quality and thus it helps the liver in its function of detoxing the body.