The Element of Expansion: Wood

The organs associated with the wood element are the liver and gallbladder. In traditional Chinese medicine, the functions of these organs go far beyond the purely physiological characteristics that we are familiar with in the west,  and equally embrace the emotional and spiritual qualities as well. The wood element represents growth, expansion, and change. When your wood element and it’s associated organs are out of balance, you may have a difficult time adjusting to change and may find yourself in a state of rigidity, unable to be flexible with the ebbs and flows of life.

Wood is associated with Spring, so the timing is fitting with the equinox just a few days behind us. In the Autumn we shed skins that no longer served our present selves and planted seeds to promote growth. Over the winter, we hopefully spent some time being introspective, allowing those seeds time to germinate. Now with Spring on the horizon, growth is at it’s peak. The natural energy of the wood element and of spring is outward movement. The goal is to be as in sync with that energy as possible. When you’ve allowed yourself to be in synchronicity with the energy of the winter season, it’s that much easier to adjust to the shift of spring. That’s the case with all the seasonal transitions. Holistic medicine is always looking at the bigger picture and how each part affects the whole, in our bodies and in our environment.

If you’re experiencing more than a couple of the above symptoms, there’s a chance your wood element is imbalanced. Seeing a licensed practitioner and getting a true diagnosis with a root cause is definitely key in reclaiming balance. However, that being said, there are absolutely things you can do on your own to aid the process.