Autumn and the Metal Constitution

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January 2, 2017
Late Summer and the Earth Constitution
August 12, 2016
Using The 5 Elements To Help Your New Year’s Resolution Succeed
January 2, 2017


5 Element Acupuncture – Metal Constitutions (CFs)

That first chill of the fall hits me like a breath of fresh air.  The first sign that the mugginess of summer is going to break into the crisp cleanliness of autumn.  The leaves started falling early this year but that was mostly due to dryness, still important for this newsletter.  Metal elements can be tough to define sometimes and even harder to spot, but like the air that fills the lung (a metal organ), they can be aloof and tough to wrangle.  

Summary of Metal CF attributes:

    • Feeling connected to all things
    • Self-worth issues and needing constant affirmation
    • Seeing inspiration and need to feel inspired
    • Completion
    • Making sure actions are noted and made aware of appreciation
    • Loving structure
    • Can feel fragile
    • Over-analysis and perfection


The metal time of life starts when the kids grow up, move out and start their own families.  Around this time, the mind will start thinking about slowing down and what happens at the end of life.  Much like the trees, the leaves of us start to slowly die and fall to the ground.  In general, metal energy deals with grief and it’s never a happy energy.  Metal constitutions reflect that grief.

I am worthless.  Metal constitutions have a tendency to really get down on themselves and quickly.  This is the constitution that will get a 95% on a test in school and still feel like it’s not good enough.  Perfection is the only acceptable outcome for a lot of metal cfs and it takes a lifetime for a lot of them to know otherwise.  

This brings up the biggest issues for metal Constitutions.  These are taken from Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture written by Hicks, Hicks, and Mole in 2009.  

    • Overthinking
    • Being emotionally fragile
    • Feeling deep inspiration
    • Disconnect from the littlest or largest parts of the world
    • Wanting to do what is right and pure in the world

Ducks.  I like to explain my metal cf patients as ducks.  When you see the duck floating across the water, they look so calm and serene; yet underneath the water they are paddling with their feet like there is no tomorrow.  Metal cfs are like this, cool and calm on the outside but a mile-a-minute on the inside.  This can typically manifest as perfection, which is nearly impossible to attain.  If 1% goes wrong, they will work and work to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, even if the moment has passed and that knowledge is never needed again.

This feeling of perfection and the need for self-esteem does not only belong to metal constitutions.  Metal energy is bestowed upon us by our fathers.  Anyone with an absent or unsupportive father can foster this emotion because he wasn’t there to help build that energy.  

The lung and large intestines are the organs of the metal element.  These organs tend to be on the fragile side when it comes to our bodies.  I’m sure that primary doctors get more lung and colon issues than any other organ.  We’ve all experienced diarrhea or a chest cold, but not everyone has experienced liver failure or heart disease.  One of the reasons is that both the lung and large intestine are exposed to the outside world.  This exposure makes forces them to be strong.  This exposure makes them weak also due to the ease they can be made inbalanced.

Emotionally, metal cfs tend to be fragile as well.  One small comment about a mistake or even the error itself can easily send them into a tailspin.  Due to this emotional fragility, metal constitutions typically adapt very well to protecting themselves and making it look like nothing bothers them.  They might beat themselves up mercilessly on the inside but on the outside appear cool as a cucumber.  Some become so good at disguising their emotions that they convince the world they are really a different constitution!

Recognition is extremely important to the metal cfs.  Whenever I have important moments in my life or work life, I can almost guarantee that I’m going to get cards or letters from my metal cf patients.  Simply noting the importance of the milestone is paramount to them.  Seeing how they write, with carefully chosen language, has helped me become a better thank you card writer.  Their recognition of milestones also helps metals feel connected and strengthen that connection.

Inspiration is seen everywhere by metals.  They also tend to be very skilled in the arts; hence the inspiration around them to snap photos, paint, or whatever their medium.  Still, art is in the eye of the beholder, and each of them sees around them what a lot of the other constitutions pass right by.  Their artwork helps them find meaning in life and their connection to the earth around them.  Here the autumn energy is reflected again as the autumn is filled with the brilliant colors hidden deep within the leaves.

When I talk about the importance of structure I typically talk about school, church, and the military.  Each provides the structure that metal cfs crave.  Unlike a lot of the other elements that tend to hate being confined or suffocated, the metals feel very natural being given rules and following them tends to be very easy.  This can also manifest as wanting to look up recipes before even deciding what is for dinner.  If you have a metal child or worker, give them the structure they crave and they will thrive.

Preparation also resonates with a lot of metals.  I’ve had metals tell me they need to go into work with a plan every day and I’ve had metals tell me they had a plan about a party they were attending and what they were going to do when that special someone talked to them.  When the plan goes off course, metals tend to freeze up and not respond well.  If a metal is taking a test and they can’t solve question number one, they sometimes can’t move past it until they get it, no matter how long it takes.

Other aspects of Metal CFs

Voice:  Metal cfs always sound like they are on the verge of tears.  The voice tends to die off at the end, falling into a breathy sadness.  

Eyes:  Metal cfs seem like they are looking right through you.  Like this world is not what they are looking at.

Skin:  pale, pale pale, almost like a white sheen is over their faces.

Reflect and connect this fall on the year that was.

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