As a Zen koan says: "Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself."
The Five Element Theory
Spring: the season of renewal; the element of wood
We welcome spring, rejoicing in the longer days and the vision of growth and rebirth after the depth and introspection we experienced in winter. The seeds planted last autumn that have germinated over the winter become buds beginning to break through the frozen earth, and signs of renewal and hope start to stir within us; the seeds of change that we planted within ourselves now push through with the new energy we feel. A sense of renewal gives us the vision and inspiration to bring our goals and creative energy to fruition.
The WOOD element corresponds to the Liver (Yin organ) and Gall Bladder (yang organ) meridian systems as well as vision, the color green, and the emotions of anger and self-assertion.
People who have strong energy of the Wood element have a clear vision and goals, and know how to bring them into being. They excel at planning and decision making. They can be forceful in disagreements and can strongly argue their opinions. Their piercing, penetrating eyes may attract you, but avoid their wrath.
When the wood Qi is weak, people can be indecisive, without strong direction in life, and stuck. They may be constrained emotionally, unable to express anger. When the Liver Qi is congested or stagnant, people can be arrogant, over controlling, and have angry dispositions. They may have a tendency to be workaholics or have addictive personalities, including the possibility of abusing drugs and alcohol. They may have digestive problems like bloating, gas, alternating constipation and diarrhea.
The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming - of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life. Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.
The emotion associated with the element of Wood is anger. In its balanced state, anger can be a healthy emotion, for it can be understood as a natural reaction to stress, frustration, or injustice. When expressed with careful control, anger acts like a thunderstorm that clears the air; controlled anger can dispel tension and restore balance. An imbalance in Wood, however, often has the quality of out-of-control anger, and results either in excess or depletion. An excess, or pent-up quality of Wood, expresses itself as "quick to anger," prone to volatile outbursts, irritability, and the tendency to judge others too quickly or harshly. The converse, deficient Wood, often expresses itself as difficulty dealing with anger at all. Swallowing your anger, you become anxious, irritable, and tend to blame yourself when things go wrong.
According to the website where I got this information, as beautiful and welcome as spring is, in these early months of spring, people may be experiencing intense feelings of irritability, often accompanied with anxiety and depression. Statements like, "Everyone else seems so happy, yet I feel jumpy and frustrated; something is wrong with me!" are common. Statistically the suicide rate in spring is the highest of all the seasons (with the exception of the week between Christmas and New Year).
How to Keep Healthy and Joyful During Spring
- Move: The Liver needs movement and so do you; so get outside and take long walks in nature, observe the changes going on all around you, and invite change in. Join an exercise or yoga class.
- Recreate Order Out of Chaos: Go through your home and office and get rid of stuff that you donʼt need; have a garage sale or give it away and create the space for the new to come in. Allow new things into your life. Imagine what you would like to create in your life and find ways to make plans to actuate these dreams.
- As Without, So Within: Spring is the time to start a healthier diet and flush out the toxins so that the Liver can do its job more effectively. Begin by eliminating foods that stress the Liver, such as fried or very fatty foods. Sugar and white flour should be eliminated or minimized, and foods with chemical preservatives and food coloring should be avoided. Donʼt overeat. Try to eat slowly, savoring the flavors. Enjoy the abundance of fresh foods that are beginning to come to market.
- Let Go of Old Resentments and Start Fresh: Grudges and resentments are indigestible and can do damage to Liver energy. Practice forgiveness.
- Take a Risk and Try Something New: Think of what you would like to try, even if it seems silly or scary. The small, delicate sprout would never know its potential if it stayed safe within its seed...begin sprouting and be playful.
- Hydrate Your Body: Drink eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water daily. Use filtered water, not carbonated. Adding some lemon juice gives it a nice taste, and lemon nourishes the Liver.
Happy time of re-birthing
Honor your process,
5 Element Theory
Based on ancient Chinese philosophy, the 5 Element Theory relates all energy and substances to the elements - fire, earth, metal (or air), water, and wood. Each element is associated with a direction of the compass and a season of the year with late summer as the fifth season. In the creation cycle, one element gives birth to the next and nourishes it through the flow of energy. Wood creates fire, which creates earth, which creates metal, which creates water, which creates wood. In the destruction cycle, wood injures earth, fire destroys metal, earth controls water, metal attacks wood, and water injures fire.
Wood is associated with the morning and the spring season. It is associated with the liver and the gallbladder organs and the emotions of impatience and anger. Wood vegetables are artichokes, broccoli, carrots, string beans, zucchini, sprouts, parsley, and leafy greens. The effect of wood on the body is purification.
Fire is associated with twelve noon and the summer season. The related organs are the heart and small intestine. The related emotion is joy. Fire vegetables are asparagus, brussels sprouts, chives, dandelion, scallions, and tomatoes. Coffee and tobacco are also fiery. Fire creates circulation in the body.
Earth is associated with the afternoon and the later summer season. The stomach and pancreas are the active organs, and sympathy and worry are the correlated emotions. Chard, collards, parsnips, spinach, squash, and sweet potato are the earth vegetables. The taste of earth is sweet, and other earth substances are carob, honey, maple syrup, and sugar. The related bodily function of earth is digestion.
Metal is associated with the evening and the autumn season. The lungs are the active organs. The emotion is grief. Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, daikon, and radish are the metal vegetables. Peppermint, spirulina, tofu, and tempeh also belong to the metal family. Respiration is the related bodily function.
Water is associated with night and the winter season. The active organs are the kidneys and the bladder. The emotion is fear. Beets, burdock, sea vegetables, and kale are water vegetables. Miso, salt, and tamari are also water foods. Elimination is the bodily function.
By eating foods associated with each of the elements, you can promote balance in the body. Knowing which foods, seasons, emotions, and bodily functions are associated with which element can make you a master of balance. Say, for example, it's the middle of winter and you are feeling constipated and tight. It's the water time of year, so increasing sea vegetables with water energy and drinking more water could help. Or say you are craving coffee and cigarettes, which both belong to the fire element. You could deconstruct those cravings and ask yourself, "Where else can I add fire, passion, and joy into my life?" You might also increase the fire vegetables, like leafy green vegetables, in your diet. Chances are your craving for coffee and cigarettes would subside.
According to the 5 Element Theory, the way you cook changes the energy of your food. Stir-frying and deep frying give food a water energy, baking gives food a metal energy, and steaming food gives food an earth energy.
If you are interested in exploring this theory further, use the chart with the elements and components of each element clearly listed. In your food journal, you can record what you eat from each element everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help you see your natural tendencies and find balance. If you notice that you are eating mostly earth foods, it may help to increase wood foods because wood holds down the earth.
||black eyed peas
|An ancient Chinese belief system that says we are surrounded by five energy fields: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements are constantly moving and changing. Keeping all the elements in balance promotes harmony in our surroundings and in ourselves.
||Eat foods from each of the five phases including grains, tubers, beans, vegetables, and fruits
||Meat, sugar, overly processed, chemical foods, deep fried foods, liquor, beer, wine
Sample Daily Menu
||Steel cut oats topped with walnuts and blueberries
||Grilled shrimp with corn and black bean salad
||Air popped popcorn
||Broccoli and tofu stir fry with brown rice
Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Thank you Deb Freeman for presenting an enlightening and informative February webinar on
"Eliminating Chronic and Recurrent Pain with
to watch the webinar!
Please join us Wednesday, March 22, 2017
for our guest speaker
Mark Butler, PT, DOT, OCS, Cert. MDT
Mark is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and McKenzie Certified Specialist for mechanical diagnosis and treatment. He will be discussing Graded Motor Imagery for the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
The traditional method of treating patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) by encouraging exercises or movements that increase pain levels often results in less than ideal outcomes. By taking into account the changes to the brain and nervous system that occur when someone is suffering from long-term chronic pain, and by using the latest research in how the brain and neural tissue adapts and learns new tasks, we are changing our focus from a body-based to a brain-based treatment program.
The practice of using focused imagery by athletes to increase performance is well known. Clinical studies have shown increased strength gains from this practice alone. Therapists are seeing promising results by applying this principle known as Graded Motor Imagery (GMI) in treating patients with CRPS and other chronic pain syndromes. In this presentation, Mark will review the basic science behind this treatment and through a case study example demonstrates the 4-stage GMI process as a successful rehabilitation intervention.
Mark has taught over 200 weekend courses on Neural Mobilization, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, Examination & Treatment of the Shoulder, Cervical Spine, Lumbar Spine, Therapeutic Taping, and Radiology. He has presented at more than 25 national and regional conferences on Neural Mobilization, Brachial Plexopathies, the shoulder, and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
He is fortunate to be honored as one of the therapists selected on an annual basis to receive the prestigious James Tucker Excellence in Clinical Practice and Teaching Award by the New Jersey chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. Currently he manages the Medford NovaCare office where he carries a full caseload.
The Thyroid Secret Summit March 1st-10th
Though thyroid symptoms vary and are
often nondescript, they greatly impact people's ability to feel strong, healthy, and happy.
People who suffer from thyroid disease experience:
- Double and sometimes triple digit weight gain...even while exercising and implementing a strict diet
- Debilitating fatigue
- Hair falling out...sometimes in chunks
- Poor concentration known as "brain fog"
- Chronic pain all over the body
- Mood disturbances like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
- Hormonal imbalances including infertility
- Plus many other excruciating symptoms
Unfortunately, many thyroid patients are undiagnosed and suffer needlessly, which the documentary, The Thyroid Secret, tries to prevent. The treatments offered by conventional medicine to thyroid patients (i.e. synthetic thyroid hormones, radioactive iodine, thyroid gland removal, etc.) often leave people with recurring symptoms and result in a progressive condition that continues to dominate their lives and leaves them sick, exhausted, depressed, and struggling with their weight. The Thyroid Secret will help to raise awareness about thyroid conditions (such as hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's, Graves disease, nodules, thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, and postpartum thyroiditis) as well as the interventions that get to the root cause of their conditions and can help a person recover their health.
to register today!
The Tapping Summit
Most people go through their entire lives thinking that having a different and better life isn't possible. They deal day to day with health challenges, emotional challenges, and financial challenges and feel that their current situation is the best that they can have and that they just "are who they are" and are stuck with what they have.
Tapping works on so many things because it's been scientifically proven to re-wire the brain.
So what does Tapping work on? Well that list is extremely long but here are some of the things that it's been shown to help with: attracting more money into your life, providing relief from chronic pain, eliminating emotional problems, disorders, addictions, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical diseases as well as helping people clear the limiting beliefs that are holding them back from attracting what they want.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this newsletter is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents of this newsletter are based upon the opinions and research of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information in this newsletter is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Liesha Getson and Health Through Awareness. You are encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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If you are interested in an individual holistic health coaching session utilizing the First Line Therapy program, Thermography, Reiki, or an infra-red sauna session in the "POD," please contact me to schedule an appointment.
Wishing you abundant health.
Liesha Getson, BCTT, HHC
TDI/Health Through Awareness
100 Brick Road, Suite 206
Marlton, NJ 08053