5 Element Acupuncture – Wood Constitutions (CFs)
Continuing our series on the 5 constitutions, the wood element is next. Spring is a time of excitement! The sun warms up, plants come back to life, animals come out of hibernation, and baseball starts again!
Summary of Wood CF attributes:
The energy of the Wood element is up and out, much like a plant that is first growing up and then spreading out. Wood energy is forceful. Think about the amount of energy it takes for a chick to break out of an egg, or a plant to first protrude from an seed. Think about the energy it takes to birth a human child. That is the energy of wood. Forceful. When a Wood CF sees something they want, they will not stop until they get it and will plow through barriers to get it if they must. Wood CFs have a tendency to be relentless and impatient at the same time.
Anger. That is the emotion of the Wood element. A common conversation with a Wood CF starts at a normal level, but they will escalate to the point where you might say “Why are you yelling?” to which they might respond “I’M NOT YELLING!” It’s just in their nature to talk loudly, quickly, and always want to get the last word. Around their world, many things will cause them to get irritated. Irritation leads to frustration leads to anger leads to full blown temper tantrum…and the fuse can be mighty short.
This brings up the biggest issues for Wood Constitutions. These are taken from Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture written by Hicks, Hicks, and Mole in 2009.
Remember that most of the attributes for the elements go both ways. Most Wood CFs you’ll hear from a mile away because their voices will be LOUD! Not “deep booming” loud, but rather “I’m yelling and irritated” loud. Once you get into close range with them, they will ask you questions and be very direct about it. To a Wood CF, beating around the bush is a waste of time. Have your conversation and move on. Wood CFs can also frequently cut people off in their conversations because their questions simply cannot wait. This plays into the forceful behavior that can be exhibited. Why wait for something when you can simply go get it? This mimics plants in nature who simply grow toward the light they need.
Speaking of plants, Wood CFs tend to only see right and wrong, much like how plants tend to bifurcate and make two leaves with little gray area. I have a friend who only has 2 ways he thinks about activities, shows, movies or whatever he’s talking about. They are either “awesome” or “stupid.” No middle ground. And if it’s a competition or game of some sort, “awesome” means “I’m good at this and have a good chance at winning” and “stupid” means “I’m bad at this and am quitting.”
Reaching goals is central to Wood CFs. They simply don’t like to waste time or do extraneous activities. This can come off as competitiveness and can rub people the wrong way. They will want to win even the smallest of games or activities and can get rather bitter if they lose. They can look for excuses for losing as well. “I’m not feeling well anyway.” “You cheated.” The flip side is that they are very quick to create change and don’t see the issue with just plowing ahead. Recently, my brother was living with my parents and within a week of him moving out my mother, Beth Mittica, had the room painted. Why wait? When these changes do not occur, Wood CFs can get really frustrated and irritated.
I see it a lot physically with Wood CFs. They NEED to move their energy. If they are cooped up or miss a couple days at the gym they also get really irritated and won’t know why. “I’VE JUST BEEN SHORT TEMPERED THE PAST FEW DAYS!” they’ll say in an elevated voice, probably making a fist and/or having that vein pop out of their head. Exercise is a Wood CFs best friend.
Organization is typically a plus for Wood CFs, though they tend to take it too far. My mother has this coffee table with four small ottomans that fit underneath it. When they are put back the striping on the fabric of the ottomans MUST be in a specific pattern. She will be unable to relax until it gets fixed the correct way. My brother used to have a CD tower when we were kids. The CDs were ranked from top to bottom with the best CD having the top spot. Below, you’ll see a picture my friend showed me (unsolicited) of this organization. He spends an hour every sunday cooking and preparing his food for the week. Look at that organization!
The ability to plan is a positive, but has a tendency to create negativity as well. Once a plan is in place, Wood CFs have difficulties adjusting as issues come up. They tend to bend only so much (like a tree) and then they will SNAP (also like a tree). Trust me…you do not want to be there for the snap.
Justice is a something Wood CFs will see and think about when others won’t. The best story I have was from Acupuncture school. A classmate and I were at the bank when someone wanted to cut in line. Her response was swift and clever. “Well I don’t mind…but you’ll have to ask aaaallll the people behind me.” The guy quickly scurried to the back of the line. It was also fascinating to hear her voice pick up a decibel or two just for emphasis. Not yelling though since she was one of the most balanced Wood CFs I’ve ever known. This strong sense of justice allows them to fight for people who don’t have a voice. It’s a real strength.
Wood CFs are always on the path of personal growth. Whether it’s always obtaining extra degrees or certifications, or simply doing a daily self-help exercise, they continue to want to improve themselves. When out of balance, a Wood can try to constantly grow a company too big and get themselves into trouble.
Other aspects of Wood CFs
Voice: Anger/Shout. See above for more details
Body: They tend to be wiry and sinewy. Long limbed and able to see tendons and such.
Taste: Wood CFs tend to LOOOOVE sour foods. Sour candies, citrus flavored foods, etc.
Conversation: Just to reiterate, try to get the last word with a Wood CF. They’ll always find something to say. They just like the “ping-pong” of it all.
When the summer hits we’ll explore the Fire Element.