Do you get anxious under pressure, become very quiet, or get angry?
We each react to situations in different ways, and our reactions are not random. How you handle your life is linked to your elemental type in Chinese medicine: Wood, fire, earth, water, or metal.
You have all the elements within you, but each person is more dominant in some than others…
Wood types are leaders and innovators. They take charge and move things forward, and can be very bossy in some cases.
Fire types are the magicians and comedians. They’re magnetic and funny. When out of balance, they can become manipulative and angry.
Earth types are your teachers and counselors. Their weakness is overgiving and people pleasing at their own expense.
Metal types are judges and lawyers. They can be overly stubborn and unable to move forward when out of balance.
Water types are your deep thinkers and writers, full of wonder and curiosity. They can overthink and become paralyzed at times.
Which of the elemental types sounds most like you? Your instinct is probably accurate, and if you want to dive deeper you can take this quiz.
Once you know your elemental type, you can use specific tools to balance your natural tendencies and stay calm through anything.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each type, and the practical steps you can take to feel calm and balanced, depending on your dominant element...
As leaders, wood types want to take action in every situation. When something happens, they’re always thinking of the next step to move things forward. They’re very ambitious, and can be bossy when they’re imbalanced. Wood types like to make rules... and also break them.
How To Balance Wood
Wood types need a lot of activity to burn through their copious energy. Vigorous exercise and light movement breaks throughout the day are key for them. They get anxious with too much time sitting, working, or studying. When the wood type gets enough movement and variation in their day, they feel calm and balanced. >> Chi gong is a very balancing modality for wood energy, and 7 Minutes of Magic is an accessible routine you can do online.
Fire types – the magicians and comedians – are charismatic and funny. They have a large capacity for touch, and need to give and receive physical contact and intimacy. When they’re isolated, they become irritated. They’re also very sensitive to the emotions of others, and pick up on things quickly. They know the right thing to say at the right time, and when imbalanced, can be manipulative.
How To Balance Fire
To balance the fire type, it’s important to get enough contact with other people, and tactile sensation throughout the day.
>> As a fire type, you’ll feel the most calm and settled when you have hugs, cuddles, and intimacy every day. When that’s not possible, a weighted blanket, skin brushing, self-reiki, or simply hugging a pillow can be very soothing and pacifying.
As the teachers and counselors, earth types have two feet on the ground, and are very connected to Mother Earth.
They like being needed, to the point of overgiving and people pleasing, when they really don’t have adequate energy to share.
Earth types need time to process before making decisions, and can tend toward overthinking. This can leave them feeling stuck at times.
How To Balance Earth
If you have a lot of earth in you, it’s likely you’re a naturally nourishing person who wants everyone to feel comfortable. You’re always offering food, a listening ear, or a hug.
>> Earth types need to learn to give from a place of overflow rather than deficiency, and a very practical way to fill up their own cup is to feed themselves well.
Eating regular, nourishing meals is very important. The right foods at the right times calms them down. If you’re dominant in earth, eat consistent meals that work for your body type.
These are your judges and lawyers. Metal types are always thinking about integrity, truth, and righteousness.
Metal-dominants love beauty, and aesthetics matter to them. They’re very organized – if you look at their desk, everything is in place.
To the metal type, there’s only one right away. This makes them great people to work with, as they’re very organized, and good at compartmentalizing things. How To Balance Metal
Since metal types love order so much, if something goes wrong or is out of place it flusters them. They also have difficulty processing grief and moving on when challenges arise.
>> Developing order in their environment, and a daily routine, are very calming for metal types. If they find themselves falling into unstructured days, they’ll become anxious and overwhelmed. If you’re dominant in metal, I recommend waking up at a certain time, exercising, eating, working or studying, spending quality time with friends and family, and going to bed around the same time every night.
As deep thinkers and writers, full of childlike wonder, water types need time to ponder. They cultivate their soil steadily until ideas sprout up and break through the soil. When balanced, they are calm and patient. Woods love doing, whereas waters love thinking. They’re opposites. Wood types say, “Let’s do it, I don’t know what you need to think about,” while water types want to know the true essence of things before taking action.
Water-dominant folks find balance by talking through things, trying to understand why they’re happening, and doing their own research. They love being left alone and can be fearful and hesitant in social settings.
How To Balance Water
Those with a lot of water energy are less likely to read the headlines and get swept away in fear rhetoric, and more likely to research and find their own answers.
It’s important for water types to trust their natural instinct to avoid overconsumption of social media and news. If they go against their intuition it may disrupt their rest, since they’re prone to wacky sleep schedules and disturbances. >> For water-dominant folks, developing good sleep hygiene will calm and balance their constitution. Doing a gentle exercise routine like chi gong is very helpful, and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is key.
If you’re water-dominant, it’s good to stop listening to the media and news after midday, and start winding down a couple of hours before you’d like to be asleep.
In Chinese, the five elements actually translate to the five movements, and they are always in flux. We each contain a spectrum within us, so don’t view your dominant element as static.
You might predominantly be a wood type, but have a fiery day here and there.
Whether you find yourself steadfast in one element or constantly shifting, you can use the pacifying tools I’m sharing today to help you feel better on a weekly and daily basis.
Nothing is set and stone, and you are always changing and growing.
That’s a good thing.
Our herbal formula, CALM, is grounding and balancing for all elemental types.
CALM+ has added CBD, which enhances the effects of the Chinese herbs.
If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety, or any type of dis-ease right now, we recommend it.
As we move through this transition into a new way of being, I hope these tools help you find a sense of peace and ease within yourself.
Which of the five elemental types do you see the most of in yourself? Post a comment below – we would love to hear your insights.
Moshe + Noa