Oriental Medicine Concepts - MetalElement
Plants’ leaves receive sunlight and absorb carbon dioxide. Combining them to make useful energy for growth and prosperity. At night, they give oxygen back to the atmosphere which benefits animals.
Lung and Large Intestine, the Metal Element’s pair organ have the same function. Metal Element is about connection with the Heavenly Energy or the Qi. The lung is a unique Yin organ because it has direct contact with the outside world. It is an organ with the largest surface area. This makes Lung vulnerable to external pathogens.
The physical aspect:
The lung is a container which holds air. It must be flexible yet relatively hard to maintain its shape. This is the reason for being the organ of Metal Element.
The lung’s function is to breathe, to receive and absorb oxygen. Just as important to inhale, to receive the vital heavenly qi, is to exhale, if not more so. Thus the principle of exchange is the nature of the element of Metal. We must give carbon dioxide back to nature so that plants can utilize it. In the same way Lung’s partner Yang organ, the Large Intestine’s function is to transport the waste out. We are not only removing waste or potentially toxic materials out of the body, but our waste will become a source of fertility for the next generation in nature.
Life starts in the mother’s womb and some believe that the soul remains alive after death. Our first breath is taken when we leave our mother’s womb and with the last breath, we take we also leave this body behind. So the breath defines our life in the physical realm, and who we are here and now.
The Skin is the exterior organ of the Lung, having physical contact with the external world. As the health of a plant often show in leaves, the skin is a barometer for the internal condition of a man.
So long as we live, we must breathe. But what we breathe in may be less than optimal at times. Plant spread its leaves to the maximum to receive the sunlight and but it also exposes themselves to pathogenic factors, such as insects and fungus. We are often involuntarily exposed to difficult conditions such as extreme temperatures, extreme degrees of moisture, different allergens, pollutants or toxins. These are mostly things that we cannot help and we seldom can change. We can only hold our breath for a short time but not forever. Eventually, we must inhale regardless of what we receive from the outside. A sound and healthy Lung organ will use its Qi energy to shield and protect itself and the whole body from the possible undesired invasion coming from the outside and will exchange the air as soon as possible.
The physical manifestation of diseases concerning Metal Element.
Respiratory diseases, cold, flu, cough, Skin conditions, dryness, itch, Constipation
The emotional aspects
The metal element organ is most affected by sadness. Sadness has its roots in forgetting, or a lack of awareness to the principle of exchange, which is vital for life.
We might feel that we either give a lot but we do not receive what we desire or what we deserve in return, or we might think that the things we give are not valued, or not well-received. At times we might want to tilt the balance between giving and receiving in our favour, trying to get more warmth and love than we are willing to give.
Inhale is natural, exhalation takes an effort.
We tend to contract and hold our breath when we are sad. To take a breath, we must first exhale, otherwise, the toxin builds up and must find the other way out, which is usually through the skin. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, these skin condition may have developed unchecked emotion.
Keyword: Letting go.
It is important to remember that Metal Element tends to be drying in nature. When we are sad and contracted, it affects Large Intestine, whose job of transporting the waste material gets slow down.
Inability to control his/her surrounding environment.
The Metal Element emotional issues often have to do with the action of others, often family and friends that affect us negatively. For example, children of divorced parents may experience abandonment. Often children blame themselves for the parents’ break-up, even though it was beyond their control.
Everyone has free will as a birthright. People act according to their own needs and may not always consider the consequences of their actions on others. In order to move on, the adult child of divorced parents must eventually come to accept the parents’ free will and let the problem go.
Inability to articulate thoughts and emotions in the form of speech.
The voice is a combination of Heavenly Qi and thoughts or Emotions. As Lung begins its function after birth and it needs time to develop turn voice into speech. A chronic respiratory disease may be the result of childhood trauma, of not being given a space and encouragement to express themselves.
Recommendation for a successful consultation.
Metal Element issues are almost always having to do with environmental challenges. These challenges are caused by people they are close to because you are there to receive and thus defenseless.
It is important to know how your client responded to challenges in the past. Has she responded in a forceful way? or quietly persevered? Did the choice they make bring a desired outcome? You can talk about it, and allow them to explore some oils with different scent profile, and watch her reaction. Does she respond to the smell kindly? indifferent? or reject it strongly? Help to realize that some things are beyond one’s control, and the happiness comes from letting go of those who harmed you.