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Lifestyle

The Wood Element

TCM Wood Element

The Wood element, one of the TCM 5 elements, is associated with the Liver and its partner organ, Gallbladder. When Wood is unbalanced, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Feeling irritable or angry
  • Headache, migraine, or high blood pressure. These are sign of Liver Yang rising upwards.
  • Rib pain: Liver meridian runs along the rib area. Any stagnation of Liver Qi will be reflected in a distending discomfort around the ribs. Commonly seen in stressed people.
  • Itchy, dry eyes: TCM believes that liver blood can travel upwards to nourish the eye. Hence, a deficiency in Liver blood may lead to eye issues like floaters or myopia. On the other hand, excess Liver heat can cause red, bloodshot eyes or painful eyes.
  • Spasm: Liver blood nourishes the sinews to allow free movement. Lack of Liver blood, sinew will become dry and we experience contraction, spasm, or numbness.
  • Brittle nails: Nails are considered to be a by-product of the sinews. If Liver blood is deficient, you may have dry brittle bail, ridges, or spots on the nails.

Acupuncture Tips

For Wood element, two commonly used points LI 4 He Gu and LR 3 Tai Chong which are also known as the “4 Gates” are used to ensure the smooth flow of Liver Qi.

When pressing the points, remember to:

  • Apply firm and deep pressure
  • Take long and deep breaths while pressing
  • Set the intention and focus your energy on the point that you are pressing
  • Press firmly for 15 seconds followed by 5 seconds release, and continue for about 5 minutes for each point
  • Press on a regular basis as acupuncture works cumulatively

Do note to avoid pressing some points if you are pregnant.

Wood Acupuncture Points

Lifestyle Tips

  1. The liver is associate with SOUR. Adding food such as sour plum, lemon, apple cider vinegar can support your Liver. Don’t take on an empty stomach if you have gastritis.
  2. It is best not to always rely on bread or biscuits for a quick energy boost.
    Focus on complex carbs like legumes, brown rice, quinoa, and high protein snack (nuts, yogurt, cheese) for a slow sustained energy release.
  3. When Qi stagnates, over time it generates heat. Hence adding small amounts of raw food or cooling property food (green bean, chrysanthemum tea) can help to clear the heat and prevent heat build-up.
  4. Stretching and softening the muscles and tendons can prevent spasms and cramps. At the same time, the movement will cool your head and encourage blood circulation.
  5. Wood elements love a fast-paced life. Try to take some time to slow down and balance your work so that you do not need to go all-out all the time.
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