How Knowing Your Element Can Give You a Whole New Lease on Life

five elements Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest post by Beth Rush

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) uses the five-element philosophy to diagnose and treat patients. TCM has been around for centuries and is still practiced today. Chinese medicine’s five elements are also helpful in astrology and understanding yourself. You can use your element to reach your full potential, cater to your strengths, and recognize your weaknesses.

What’s Your Element?

what''s your element water

TCM recognizes the five elements in astrology and medicine: Metal, wood, fire, water, and earth. Every birth year is assigned to a natural element. The number that your birth year ends with is what you use to determine your element.

Metal birthday elements were born in years that end with the numbers 1 or 1. Water elements were born in years ending with 2 or 3, and wood elements end with numbers 4 and 5. Fire elementals’ birth years end with 6 or 7, and earth elementals’ end with 8 or 9. So, if you were born in 1989, your birthday element would be earth.

Every element has an archetype that pertains to your personality, but they are all connected and must be balanced. You can use your element to distinguish how you relate to your relationships and daily life. If your element is earth, you are most likely reliable and stabilizing. Earth elements are grounding and nurturing. Water is fluid and intuitive. Wood is diligent and provides structure, while fire is restless and loud.

The Five-Element Philosophy

five elements philosophy

Although the five-element philosophy has slightly evolved and intertwined with modern medicinal practices, it is still prevalent and believed in by many. Spirits, ghosts, and shamans were used to determine and treat illness and disease. This was, at the very beginning, the root of Chinese medicine.

The seasons of life have remained throughout time and have influenced people’s behavior and thought processes. Being in tune with nature and the elements can still help us protect ourselves from disease and illness if we know how to use them to our advantage and keep them balanced.

TCM uses five natural elements and their deep connection with nature and correlates them to the human body’s performance. The five-element philosophy is the backbone of Chinese medicine and astrology. Traditional and modern medicine is intertwined and balances energies. These elements affect every facet of human life, from personality to overall health. TCM uses the five-element philosophy not only to treat conditions and diseases but also as a way to prevent them. Keeping your elements balanced can ensure you maintain optimal health.

Rather than just symptoms of an illness, the five-element philosophy looks at the patient as a whole and observes the elements within their body and how they affect their health. By identifying the root cause of the problem, this holistic approach to medicine can balance the five elements in your life and alleviate symptoms.

Doctors who practice TCM and the five-element philosophy help you adapt your lifestyle to keep your elements balanced. When your elements are out of whack, things can feel askew or you can develop a sickness. Acupuncture is a resource that can help re-balance the flow of energy throughout your body.

Understanding the Five Elements

understanding five elements

Understanding the five elements can help you work through issues in your life. The five elements are the basis of every interaction in the universe. With a proper understanding of your element, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage.

Each element has a unique set of characteristics that pertains to different aspects of nature. Wood, fire, earth, metal, and water have associations and intentions in the universe and the human body.

Wood is associated with the liver and gallbladder regarding health and pertains to orthopedic issues. Wood elements in personality are typically quite adventurous and athletic. Fire elements are boisterous and ignite passion and impulsivity. Insomnia, high blood pressure, chest pain, and headaches are associated with fire elements. Your heart and blood vessels and your small intestine are fire organs.

Earth personalities tend to worry and be more prone to pensiveness. They are typically generous and quite nurturing and embody hormonal and stomach issues. Earth pertains to organs such as the stomach, spleen, muscles, and flesh.

Metal personalities are responsible and honest. Skin problems are associated with metal and so are allergies and lung problems. The large intestine, lungs, and skin are the organs associated with metal. Water elements are prone to experiencing pain in their bladder, kidneys, knees, and back. Water personalities are reflective, indecisive, and typically relatively private.

How Your Element Can Serve You

Your element can give you a whole new lease on life. Learning about your element and how it can serve you can change your perspective and outlook on ideas and situations that happen in your daily life. You can use your element to better your relationships, career, and home. Your element can also help you embrace who you were born to be.


Wang, K. C. (2005). Business life cycles and five elements theory. Institute of Business.

Chen, Y. (2014). Legitimation discourse and the theory of the five elements in imperial China. Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, 44, 1, 325-364.

Ling, H. W. (2020). Constitutional homeopathy of five elements based on traditional Chinese medicine. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences, 4, 7, 57-69.

Related articles

The Five Elements Theory

Five Elements Philosophy and Culture

Aim for Well-being, The Five Element Theory

Related Post