The Five Element Way: Honoring the Water Phase


Tired? Unmotivated? In Pain? Could be a Water Element Imbalance!

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The Water Element

The Five Element system of Chinese medicine are thousands of years old. It was developed by Chinese philosophers who studied the rhythms and interrelationships of the Elements of nature in order to help mankind attune to the natural order of things. They believed that to live a balanced life was to understand the rhythms of the earth and live in harmony with it.

The Five Elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. Each element corresponds to:

  • A particular temperament or personality
  • Certain parts of our anatomy
  • Aspects of our physiology
  • Tastes, sounds, and smells
  • Certain emotions
  • Spiritual lessons

These are just some of the correspondences that we can use to understand ourselves, our relationships, and our health. I've listed even more correspondences below.

Creating Dynamic Balance through the Five Elements

In order to thrive, the elements of nature dynamically nurture and balance one another so they can adapt to the changes in their environment. This is also true in our personal ecosystem. We must shift and change with with the cycles of nature and life in order for us to be happy and healthy. One of the ways we can do this is by changing how we live to resonate with the season that we're in.

Winter = Water Phase

Starting around the late fall and most definitely by the winter solstice we enter the Water phase of the year. I like the term phase because there's not a distinct day or event that marks the shift from one Element to another. Instead, the Elements gradually transition from one to another.

Honoring the Water Energies

During winter the days are shorter, the weather is colder, and, to live in alignment with Water, we’re meant to slow down. It’s a time to honor our bodies need for warmer foods, quiet days, and getting more rest. Create time to reflect, daydream, and journal. This is the perfect setting to do the inner work that allows us to do the outer work later in the spring during the Wood phase. You may feel more tired during the Water phase. That’s the energy of the Water Element calling to you to honor your need to do less. Please slow down. Give yourself permission to take a nap in the middle of the day or lay about and read a book! Doodle, write poetry, or enjoy a fancy meal! Do whatever you need to do to replenish your energy reserves.

Water Correspondences

Here are some of the correspondences of Water:

  • kidneys, bladder, reproduction
  • ears, bones, marrow, hair
  • low back, knees
  • fear or "lack of trust"
  • Willpower, courage, drive
  • trust, faith, mysticism, mage
  • sound: WOOOOOO
  • quiet, calm, reflection
  • dark, cold, winter, night
  • growth & development
  • aging & vitality
  • 5 - 7 pm

When Water is out-of-balance, there may be symptoms related to the correspondences above. You may find you have fatigue between 5 - 7pm, your low back aches, or you're unmotivated.

Is your Water Element balanced?
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and find out!



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