The Element of Water
In the sequence suggested by Five Element theory, the element of water comes after metal and generates the element of wood. The early Taoist texts explain the element of water as having characteristics of moistening and descending. Both of these make perfect sense and fit well with how we perceive water in a nature. Water is characteristically wet and will moisten whatever comes in contact and when moving, gravity causes it to descend.
Following are examples of how the element of water is interpreted within Chinese Medicine theory.
Yin Organ: The Kidneys – The kidneys are related to water. Treatment on water related imbalances may involve treating the kidneys.
Yang Organ: The Urinary Bladder – Treating the element of water can also treat imbalances associated with the urinary bladder.
Season: Winter – It is common for either (or both) the kidneys and urinary bladder to be out of balance during the winter.
Climate: Cold – The kidneys are easily affected and taken out of balance by cold.
Colour: Black – A complexion of a dark or grey hue may indicate a kidney imbalance. This commonly can be seen as dark circles under the eyes.
Taste: Salty – food and/or herbal medicine which tastes salty will benefit the kidneys.
Sense Organ: The Ears – Ear related conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by an imbalance in the water element (or kidneys).
Tissues: Bones – The kidneys are said to strengthen the bones. It is common for the kidneys to the treated in order to improve conditions such as osteoporosis.
Emotions: Fear – A deficiency in the kidneys may lead to being fearful and even anxious.
Sounds: Groaning – Those with a groaning or husky voice may have a kidney (water) disharmony.