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THE FIVE ELEMENTS IN LIVING FORM ☯
Nurturing core elemental tendencies while simultaneously balancing states of excess through a combination of diet, Chinese herbs and acupuncture and other mind-body techniques, we maintain innate elemental tendencies; transforming what may be hindrances into assets.
FIRE TYPES ☯ Are jovial pleasure-seekers. They like to relax, socialize and have fun. They often seek thrills and excitement, and love to entertain others. They are fascinated by sensory stimuli and often get carried away by the carnival of light, sound and image that the world presents. They often dislike school because it is not fun and the dislike grows as they get older and the workload intensifies. They try to make things more amusing by becoming the class entertainer.
EARTH TYPES ☯ Are all about the social world. They view their worth in terms of interpersonal relationships and they seek social contact. They want to fit in, and often play the role of peacemaker. These are the constant-talkers who get in trouble because they can not contain the need to connect with others. Quiet study periods are torture to them. Social matters are foremost in their minds, and they fret incessantly about who’s talking to whom and who will sit with them at lunch, all seeming far more important than their lessons.
METAL TYPES ☯ Are highly sensitive and detail-oriented. They see things few others do, and have an innate sense of order, beauty and perfection. They seek control and like to see their visions met. They value precision; where a Wood or Fire type might gloss over details, a metal type digs in. The Rigidity, inflexibility and getting stuck in their own sense of right and wrong, leaving no room for others, are a downside. They have difficulty letting go of small details, become anxious when something is not done ‘right,’ and they become negative when they feel out of control.
WATER TYPES ☯ Think and feel very deeply. They live in the realm of ideas and imagination and have only a modicum of interest in the physical, practical world. They are natural wisdom-seekers, and have a rather advanced interior world for their age. They often seem to be ‘off somewhere’, not particularly concerned with punctuality, and respond to time-pressures and other external demands by disconnecting, staring out the window, or retreating to their inner world. [Unlike Wood types who become confrontational, or Fire types who seek thrills, Water element types become withdrawn in chronic stress situations.]
WOOD TYPES ☯ Are very physical, competitive and want to be first. Natural leaders; they always want to win, to be in front. Pioneers who see a path and want to take it. They usually win the enthusiasm of peers. Since they live primarily in the physical world, they often act out physically when stressed, becoming aggressive, argumentative, ‘In your face.’ Under duress, they become the restless and assertive ‘Wild Child.’
* Dr. Stephen Cowan, who studied with Efrem Korngold, co-author of the modern TCM classic, Between Heaven and Earth, has spent 20 years affirming the distinctions of the Five Elements. He has amassed a vast library of work with thousands [of children] across the developmental spectrum, and believes the elemental tendencies begin to show themselves within the first year or two of life.
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