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Wisdom of The Wood Element: Flex

Metaphor of Wood

The wood element is associated with all plant life, but its archetypal symbol is most closely associated with the tree. The vertical line of the tree serves as a connecting point between heaven and earth. The roots and branches of the tree are often mirror like images of each other (roots connecting to earth, branches reaching to heaven, and trunk linking them both). The wood element represent the internal map of destiny that each individual is born with. Wood is often associated with goals and the forward movement needed to reach those goals. The wood time of life are our growing years which include all of our childhood and our early adulthood. This is the time in life when we are discovering who me are in the world and what our purpose is.

Wood and Emotion

The emotions most closely related with wood element are anger and frustration. Wood wants to grow and expand and push past boundaries (think about deep penetrating roots or outreaching vines). Wood hates to be confined. Wood is compelled to take risks, accomplish goals, take initiative, meet challenges, and stay busy. When Wood encounters obstacles it can both become flexible and adapt, or it becomes rigid and immoveable. When things get in the way, wood reacts with anger and or frustration. Anger is often a signal that one has reached the end of a boundary line and or that someone or something has crossed one’s boundary. When Wood is not able to reach its goal and feel a sense of accomplishment it is agitated, irritated, and frustrated.

Wood’s Biggest Strength

The strength and power or wood is that of expansion. Think of a pioneer setting out to experience new lands that have never been charted before. It is like the Star Trek motto, “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” When wood is out of balance, it becomes domineering: attempting to take over and control things. “Bossy” is a good way to think about out of balance Wood. People with excessive Wood often sound as though they are shouting. If Wood gets too far out of balance the energy becomes compressed as though the person is in a pressure cooker that is volatile and ready to explode at any moment.

Wood Asks

• What do I do, what are my goals?
• How do I accomplish my goals, what is my strategy?
• Am I accomplishing my goals or feeling frustrated?
• Do I need to change my current strategies/
• Am I trespassing on others boundaries or allowing them to trespass my boundaries?
• In what areas of my life do I need to establish or reinforce my boundaries?
• Am I angry on a consistent basis? If so, what is fueling this anger?
• What areas of my life need a fresh vision and forward movement?

Moving Forward With Flexibility

• Nourish the Wood element by getting out and taking a walk in the woods. The forward movement of walking accompanied by the surrounding vegetation, especially trees, will bring stimulation and balance to the wood element.
• Bring wooded objects, furniture, or petrified wood crystals into your life.
• Sit down and write down your goals and your strategy for accomplishing those goals
• Say no to people and things that are not in line with your purpose, life mission, and goals
• Be accepting of other people’s boundaries when they say “no” to you

Wisdom of The Water Element: Flow

The Metaphore of Water

Water is both the beginning and the end of the journey through the five element phases of Chinese Medicine. Water represents the beginning of our earthly journey as we are nourished in the watery environment of the womb. The water element is closely associated with fertility and the seeds of new life. Water also represents the end of the cycle in that it is associated with the dark abyss such as the deepest parts of the ocean, and because it is represented in the winter season: the time of coldness, dark, slow movement, and hibernation. The Water element is concerned with our origins and our destiny. It asks what is my past and what is my future?

Water & Emotion

The emotion associated with the Water element is fear, anxiety, or awe. The spiritual fear that Water element is concerned with is that of extinction; the ultimate fear of death being equal to annihilation. The existential question of Water is “where do I come from?” The desire to know ones origins also serves to quell the deep fear of extinction, because perhaps if we are able to know where we come from we will also know where we are going or what our ultimate end will be.

Water’s Biggest Strength

The power of the Water element is consolidation; it is able to bring ethereal energy into a “solid” state. If the power of Water becomes imbalanced and extreme it leads to such strong consolidation that one becomes petrified. Water in balance flows smoothly and easily between states and is able to be as soft and light as steam or as solid as a block of ice.

The core wisdom of Water is to flow. Whether you are shallow or deep – flow. Whether you are a babbling brook or a raging river— flow. Flow in such a way that, just like water, you can transition from state to state easily with as few dramas and struggles as possible.

Water asks…

  • Do I feel strong and rooted in my history, do I know where I came from?
  • Do I feel secure about my future?
  • What is my purpose or “destiny” (What do I feel called to do and designed for?)
  • Am I living in fear on a consistent basis? If so, what am I fearing?
  • Am I flowing (solid and moving) or petrifying (so stiff I can’t move)?
  • Where in my life can I replace the petrifying feeling of fear by taking action and “flowing”?

Getting in the flow…

  • Spend time observing fish in an aquarium, it build your water element
  • Spend time watching water flow in a river or stream
  • Spend time near a lake
  • Swim
  • Soak your feet in water and epsom salt (the very first point on the Kidney Channel and the very last point on the Urinary Bladder Channel (both organs associated with the element of water) are located on your feet. Salt is the flavor associated with water

Wisdom of The Five Elements: An Introduction

Basics of Five Element Theory

Dynamic, ebb and flow, and the circle of life are just a few ways of describing the rthymic balance we experience in life on an everyday basis.  The early Chinese were astute observers of nature. They witnessed that there was a fundamental movement between all things in nature. They summed up this observation with the development of a philosoophy; the interplay of yin and yang.

Yin describes things that are darker, heavier, deeper, more hidden, slower moving, and cool.  Yang describes things that are bright, light, on the surface, fast moving, and warm.  The five elements of Chinese medicine are the first five fundamental things that are created by the interplay between yin and yang.  In fact, the five elements are descriptions of yin and yang on a gradient scale.  Extreme Yang is known as Fire, while extreme Yin is known as Water.  Yang within Yin is known as Wood, while Yin within Yang is known as metal.  Earth was originally the centralized balancing point upon which all the other elements pivoted.

Five Elements and Life Cycle

The five elements describe our journey through life. We are born into the Wood phase of life where we are growing, expanding, rising, and sprouting.  We move into our early adulthood in the Fire phase of life where we are exploring, diffusing, finding love, and starting to earn a living.  The high point of life is the Earth phase.  Earth time is a balanced time, where things are flowing along, and we feel solid.  Earth time is also a crossing point or a bridge leading us to the second half of our life.  After Earth time, comes Metal time, or the Metal phase of life.  Metal time is where things start to contract, consolidate, and solidify.  Metal time is our later adult years, often when people in America decide to retire.  After Metal comes Water.  The Water phase or Water time of life includes our very old age where we once again become flexible and fluid.  The Water Phase is also associated with Pregnancy and the seeds of new life.  In the journey of the five elements, there is no end, only new beginnings as the cycle recreates itself.

The five elements of Chinese medicine have many associations, and vast applications.  They correspond to various organs and meridians in the human body. They relate to our physical environment. They even related to interior design when we apply them through the principles of Feng Shui.  It is my desire to share with you the wisdom and practical applications that the five elements can have to various areas of life.  Please look for  upcoming blog posts where I’ll share stories, insights, practical wisdom, and a dose of good humor.

Until next time,

I’m Jocelyn Michel, with you every step of the way.

 

Acupuncture Now Available

Acupuncture Services Begin This October

We are pleased to announce that Acupuncture services will begin at Back To Bliss’ Colby location this October. It has been a goal of Back To Bliss’ to bring acupuncture to our area for some time now so that we can have local access to this amazingly beneficial therapy. Our mission is to make real wellness locally accessible and affordable to maintain, and we feel that adding acupuncture to our service menu does both of these things for our rural area. We are delighted to have connected with a skilled acupuncturist who shares our philosophies on customer service and quality care. Our acupuncturist, Jocelyn, will be available from Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 7 pm.

Check our acupuncture service page for details on pricing. We offer package discounts when purchasing six acupuncture treatments and you can use sale gift certificates for her services as normal.

A Message From Jocelyn

Hello, I’m Jocelyn and it is my passion to support you in living the fullest life possible. It is my pleasure to offer services that help you care for your body and mind so you can be the best version of yourself!

I’ve been interested in holistic healthcare since I was about twelve years old and I had my first experience with chiropractic—which is what I was intent on studying until I found out about acupuncture.  My first experience with acupuncture helped me find relief from aches and pains related to a motor vehicle accident.  When I found out that there was a local school, Midwest College of Oriental Medicine (MCOM), I just had to learn more about acupuncture and all the modalities of Oriental Medicine.  After jm headshotcompleting my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, I went on to complete a second bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from MCOM.

My focus is on you, my patient.  It is my goal to educate, guide, and facilitate treatment to relieve your symptoms, help you to regain your vitality, and prevent sickness and disease before it begins. I can best be described as a general practitioner or family practitioner.  While many find joy in specialization, I love the challenge of diagnosing and treating a wide variety of health concerns.  I love it when I see families pursuing a healthy lifestyle together.  There is strength in unity and just like healthy individuals bring that influence to their families, healthy families have the power to change a whole community.

My treatment style is eclectic because my desire is to find the most effective treatment plan for each person; therefore I will draw from as many tools as I have in my toolbox to reach the goal defined in our treatment plan.  I offer nutritional recommendations, Chinese herbal supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements, acupuncture, and manual therapies.  I welcome you to the healing path and look forward to meeting you soon!

What Does An Acupuncture Therapy Plan Look Like?

Depending on your goals, the depth of the issues you want to resolve, and the intensity of your wellness plan you will find that no two therapy plans are identical.  However, when beginning your work with our acupuncturist, everyone will need to schedule a 120 minute initial visit and a 75 minute follow up visit. In these two first sessions the two of you will put together a detailed evaluation, history and plan with plenty of one-on-one time for questions, education, and treatment. Depending on your needs, there may lots of homework in terms of lifestyle practices and/or several vitamins and herbs to familiarize yourself with taking.

After your initial visits, clients can expect a treatment plan that is more frequent at the beginning. As your body ‘holds the effects’ of the treatments for longer and longer timeframes, the treatments will be spaced further and further apart. In this way your acupuncture plan works with your own healing force to first impact a therapeutic change and then gradually allow your body to maintain a healthy condition on its own. Jocelyn will commonly recommend coming for acupuncture treatments twice a week for 3-5 weeks to gain a healing momentum. That frequency is stepped-down as fast as you are able to remain symptom free without treatment. Once your goals are met, she then recommends staying on a seasonal maintenance plan to maintain a good welleness relationship and keep ahead of any issues before they become more deeply problematic. This maintenance plan is generally three or four visits a year.

How To Make An Appointment

Acupuncture with Jocelyn fits right into Back To Bliss’ regular service offerings. Simply call the front desk, book online, or stop in to set up your initial visit and get started today. All subsequent appointments will be set up based on the plan created on your initial visit.