The 5 elements

The five elements play an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are all interconnected through a cycle and influence each other. Each elements transforms into the next, creating a steady flow of energy. Every human being contains the five elements. Most of the time, however, one of the elements is more pronounced than the others.

If one of the elements gets out of balance this will affect the function of all the other elements. Health problems such as obesity can arise.

Take our 5 elements test and find out which element is dominant. The test is free and no data is stored.

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Yes
Some
No

Wood

Body

I have a strong, athletic body with broad shoulders.
I tend to have long arms and legs and strong hands with long fingers.
I suffer from eye problems, such as near or far-sightedness, dryness or redness.
My blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure is elevated.
I often suffer from neck problems, headaches or migraines.
I mostly gain weight on the face, on the back and on the belly.

Wood

Mind

I am courageous and make decisions quickly, sometimes without having all the facts.
I love being independent and treasure my freedom.
I have good leadership skills and a talent for organizing.
It is hard for me to sit still.
I like being creative.
Under stress, I can lose my temper quickly.

Fire

Body

I have a delicate build.
My hands and feet are narrow and long.
I suffer from heart and circulatory problems, such as dizziness and palpitations.
I become flushed quickly.
I suffer from night sweats or hot flashes.
Despite being overweight I have thin legs.

Fire

Mind

I am enthusiastic, and sometimes overly confident.
I am an open, extroverted person and quickly make new acquaintances.
I love to be around people and like to be the center of attention.
I am an optimist.
I tend to have uncontrolled, excessive habits like binge eating.
I am impatient and sometimes even explosive.

Earth

Body

My body is round or bulky.
I have poor muscle tone, even if I do sports regularly.
I have an apple-shaped figure.
I suffer from indigestion, such as bloating or acid regurgitation.
I gain weight easily.
I gain weight on my stomach, extremities and face.

Earth

Mind

I am a peaceful, sociable and helpful person.
My concentration is very good.
I tend to worry too much.
I have difficulty saying no.
I enjoy the feeling of caring for others and being needed.
I tend to be more concerned about others’ problems than my own.

Metal

Body

I often suffer from colds.
I often have constipation.
I have many moles or get rashes quickly.
I suffer from skin diseases, hay fever or asthma.
In autumn and winter, I am prone to irritation of the throat and nose , and my skin gets dry.
I gain weight on my stomach.

Metal

Mind

I am sometimes melancholy or pessimistic.
I am very neat and structured. I have a talent for organization.
I tend to perfectionism and often disappoint myself.
I sometimes have trouble feeling and showing my emotions.
I am an honest and direct person.
I love work that demands precision.

Water

Body

I often suffer from weakness in the lower back or knees, or have heavy legs with water retention.
I am prone to kidney or bladder problems, such as bladder infections, frequent urge to urinate, or kidney stones.
I suffer from hearing or ear problems, such as a childhood history of ear infections, earache or hearing loss, or tinnitus.
I have problems with my teeth or bones, such as fractures or caries.
I have a pear-shaped figure.
I gain weight on my stomach, hips, legs and face.

Water

Mind

I am efficient and persistent, even if something does not work the way I had hoped.
I have a strong will and hold true to my beliefs.
I am more of an introvert and like to be alone.
I am patient, calm and peaceful.
I am sometimes skeptical or cynical.
In difficult and challenging situations, I can become paralyzed by fear.

Evaluation

Use the table below to grade your answers. The element with the most points is the most pronounced:

BodyMindTotal
Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water

Wood

The wood element corresponds with spring. Nature awakes from hibernation and inspires us to become active. The plants sprout, turn green, and grow. That is why the color green is assigned to the wood element.

The liver and the gall bladder are the energetic organs of wood. Traditionally, the body is detoxified in spring, and the liver is cleansed.

Wood people are active. Exercise gives them pleasure and they need physical activity to stay harmonious. They are creative, courageous and enterprising. A balanced wood person likes to take the lead. Balanced wood people can easily adapt to new situations, like a reed of bamboo that bends to the wind. When wood gets out of balance, irritability or anger ensues.

Wood people often have an athletic build with broad shoulders and long arms and legs. They build muscle quickly. The back is straight and strong. Hands are big with long fingers and wide palms.

Fire

The fire element finds its greatest power in summer. The heat of this season is reflected in the heated temperament of those who have a predominant fire element. Red is their color.

The energetic organs of the heart and small intestine, as well as pericardium and San Jiao, are assigned to the fire. The heart is home to the spirit “Shen”.

Fire people are extroverted, enthusiastic and like to laugh. They are full of ideas and convince others with their clever choice of words. Fire people like to be the center of attention and know how to present themselves well. An unbalanced fire type is prone to swings between optimism and disappointment or may start projects without finishing them.

Fire people are slim and elegantly built. They have narrow palms with long fingers, the same applies to feet. The face shape may be pointed with a high forehead.

Earth

The earth element corresponds to late summer. It is a time of transformation from yang to yin. The color of the earth element is yellow, like the maturing wheat fields.

Earth corresponds to the energetic organs of the stomach and spleen (pancreas), the two organs that are responsible for digestion. Digestive complaints are therefore associated with an earth element imbalance.

The Earth is also depicted in some of the Traditional Chinese Medicine graphics as the center of the 5 elements. Earth likes to rest in the middle. Earth people are often comfortable and sociable and prefer to live in harmony. They care for their family and friends. When the earth element is balanced, people have good concentration. If there is disharmony, they may worry too much, which often burdens them.

They often have a square-shaped body. Arms and legs are short, and the face is round with full cheeks.

Metal

The metal element corresponds to autumn. The color white belongs to the metal element.

Lungs and large intestine are the two energetic organs of the metal element. Both organs represent the connection of the body to the outside world. Metal people often tend to skin complaints or constipation. The immune system is associated with the metal element. There can be can a susceptibility to infection.

Metal people are often very correct and tend to perfectionism. They can be reserved or cynical about their fellow human beings though they are honest and fair, with a strong organizational talent.

An unbalanced metal person can be prone to sadness and grief.

Metal people have a straight body and are angular, with wide shoulders. The face has a rectangular shape with a wide forehead.

Water

The water element finds its strength in winter. The cold belongs to this element, just like the colors of the night, dark blue and black. In winter, nature retires and gathers new strength for the upcoming spring. The cycle of the five elements ends and then renews.

The water element corresponds with the energetic organs kidney and bladder. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys hold the Jing, the essence of our power.

Water types may tend to cystitis or a cold feeling in the lower back.

Water people are often introverted. They can be chaotic and sometimes late for appointments.

The trait of wisdom is assigned to the water element. When water is balanced, these people demonstrate a strong will and unshakable convictions.

However, when water people fall into disharmony, they can suffer from phobias.

Water people have a pear-shaped figure. The shoulders are narrow, the hips wide. The legs are rather stocky.


If you would like to know more about your element and the appropriate therapy for obesity, you are welcome to contact us and make an appointment!