Hooray For The Wood Energy

I love cycling. It’s the combination of freedom, forward movement, exercising my body, being out in nature, fresh air and sun (sometimes). So when I was out cycling on Sunday I realized I was in my element… the Wood Element.

In the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) cycle of elements, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal, the wood element can be characterized by the season of Spring. It’s the awakening energy, new plans, new possibilities, new growth and energy… that splurge forward to fulfill your mission with renewed vigor. Nature shows us how it’s done: everywhere you look trees, plants and the earth in general is bursting into life. Creativity abounds… Roots firmly grounded in the earth whilst branches, leaves and flowers reach up to the skies, the wood energy doing what it was made for – rising, expanding; a force for flexibility and growth.

Wind is associated with the wood element and there was plenty of that around on Sunday as I forged my way at what felt like 50mph (probably more like 13!) around my route. The wind is clearing and brings about quick change and after the long dark days of winter – being out in the sun and wind, peddling like crazy, I could feel my stagnation dispersing. Helped along by my occasional whoop of joy and laughter as I conquered another hill!

Unsurprisingly the colour green is connected to the wood element, so too is a strong, loud voice (lots of that on my bike ride). It enables us to be heard, draw attention to what we have to say and what we want. Eyes are the sense organ for wood, allowing us to see the scope of the situation before us in order to choose a direction; a clear way forward. Community and peaceful coexistence are characteristics of a balanced wood energy, as are being organised, proactive, motivated, decisive, flexible and cooperative.

If our wood energy is not flowing freely we can encounter feelings of being ‘stuck’: we lack vision, have difficulty making decisions or taking action. This can lead to tension and inflexibility, both physically and emotionally, and headaches or migraines can manifest. Conflicts can arise along with frustration, anger and rage. Anger can be very liberating but it can also be held as resentment and bitterness, and this can block our movement and vision.

So it could’ve been a completely different story on Sunday had I not been in my element. The wind would have well and truly cheesed me off and plenty of shouting of a different nature would have ensued.  I probably wouldn’t have decided which route to take and ended up half heatedly pootling along. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have gone out at all! So hooray for the Wood Energy – welcome back!

Kathryn Bibby offers Shiatsu sessions at The Isbourne. See www.isbourne.org or www.kathshiatsu.co.uk for more details.

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