The Wood Element #1

In our bodies the wood element manifests as the liver and gall bladder. 

The liver is the yin aspect because it is solid and the gall bladder is the yang aspect because it is hollow.

The liver is said to store one of the vital fluids – the blood.

What is meant by ‘blood’ in acupuncture is slightly different to what is meant in western medicine.  In acupuncture it does mean the red flood which comes out if we are cut and flows through our body.  It also has a very important functional meaning in acupuncture – ‘blood’ has the job of nourishment, building us up.  (Another vital substance, ‘qi’, gives us the energy to do; blood is the restoration of ourselves from the expenditure of qi.  Thus qi directs how the energy is used and blood ‘produces’ qi.)

A traditional saying is:

qi is the commander of the blood, blood is the mother of qi.

We will go into the blood in more depth when we cover the vital fluids on this blog.

Wood symbolises steady growth. 

In our bodies the liver governs the flow of blood and qi – in health we flow with life: we have a bouancy and flow easily from activity to rest and from one activity to another.  When this flow is blocked we become frustrated and angry (the emotions associated with the wood element in our bodies).

So how is the health of your wood element:

    Are you nourished?

    Do you restore yourself after exertion or do you have a residual tiredness?

    Is your sleep refreshing or do you wake tired?

    How much of your time are you frustrated and angry?

    Do you find ways to flow past or grow through meeting obstacles in your life?


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