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The Chinese Elements
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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 2,500 plus year-old system of healing, there are five basic constitutional types, based on the five Chinese elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Balancing these elements is a key to maintaining health. To find out which element(s) you need to balance, look over the characteristics below. If the personality trait or health tendency currently or previously describes you, put a check in the box. Your score will be in bold at the bottom column.

Characteristics Past Problems Present problems Elements
Abdominal pain or discomfort Earth
Angry and defensive Wood
Anxious and nervous Fire
Arthritis or osteoporosis Water
Asthma, hay fever or bronchitis Metal
Bad breath or foul belching Earth
Burning or painful urination Water
Craving for sugar Earth
Discouraged or depressed Wood
Easily excited Fire
Fearful, indecisive, or timid Water
Feeling "burned-out" Fire
Feeling overwhelmed Fire
Food sits heavy on stomach Earth
Forgetful or absent-minded Fire
Frequent colds Metal
Frequent digestive problems Earth
Frequent respiratory problems Metal
Frequent urinary problems Water
Gallbladder problems Wood
Headache or migraines Wood
Intestinal gas and bloating Earth
Irritable and impatient Wood
Lack of muscle tone or underweight Earth
Low back pain and backache Water
Muscle tension or cramps Fire
Morning fatigue or sluggishness Wood
Nervous and excitable Fire
Prostate or vaginal problems Water
Reserved and analytical Metal
Restless sleeps or disturbed dreams Fire
Sinus headaches or congestion Metal
Skin problems (acne, rashes, etc) Wood
Tightness in chest Metal
Waking up frequently at nights Fire
Water retention or edema Water
Weak knees, legs or ankles Water
Wheezing or shortness of breath Metal
Withdrawn grieving or sad Metal
Total each columns here: Water Wood Earth Fire Metal
           

Click on the highest number to find out your results

What Do My Results Mean?

Each of the five elements of Chinese medicine--wood, fire, earth, metal, and water--represents certain basic biochemical processes that take place in the body.  Unlike Western medicine, which seeks to isolate individual biochemical processes to create "magic bullet" drugs, Oriental medicine looks at the "big picture" of what is going on in the body as a whole. This holistic approach works better with herbs, because herbs (being complex mixtures of nutrients and bioactive substances) also work on the whole body process.

Whichever element you score the higher in is probably the biological process that could use some balancing in the body. By taking an herbal formula designed to balance these basic metabolic functions, you bring your whole body into greater balance and harmony, and hence, greater health.

Read the description you scored highest in first. If you scored fairly evenly in two or three categories, read the description of each and follow the program most suited to your needs.

Important Notice
Copied with permission by Steven Horne, Tree of Light publishing www.treelite.com

 

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