Posts Tagged ‘Five Elements’

5 Ways to Connect with the Water Element for Winter

By Rhiannon Griffiths

This post was first published as a guest post on Aussie health blog This Is Lifeblood – it is most definitely Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, that cold, still, watery, dark Yin time. I often write about the Water Element, as Water is my constitutional element (or CF), but Winter is the season of the Water Element, and it is important to connect in with this energy now, at its most potent, whatever your own Element is.

.

Water CF Element Five Elements Chinese Medicine

.

1. Slow Down & Think Hibernation

The quickest way to connect with the Water Element at any time of the year, but particularly as we move into Water’s season of Winter, is to slow down! Many of us will have been super busy and outwardly sociable during the Summer, with lots of outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Winter is about stillness, coolness, darkness, hibernation – think about what nature is doing at the moment, everything is retracting inwards, seeds of potential are underneath the ground, barely a bud or leaf above soil, and animals are retreating to warm safe spaces. The Water Element will respond beautifully to increased rest in warm safe spaces! Up your commitment to quiet self-care, scale back your social commitments, and keep the Kidneys warm – no crop tops or showing your midriff! Just remember, the energy you conserve during the Winter, becomes the pot of Qi you have for the following Summer – it’s well worth topping yourself up now!

.

2. Activate the Water Element Taste

Each of the Five Elements has a “taste” associated with it. Fire is bitter, Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Wood is sour, and Water is salty. Salt is a hot topic in health circles, and many people avoid salt at all costs. Processed table salt is not advisable, especially if you have high blood pressure, but in Chinese Medicine, we know that the Water Element and its associated organ, the Kidneys, actually NEED some salt to be supported and function correctly. Add a touch more sea salt or pink himalayan salt to your Winter cooking, or opt for something naturally salty like miso – it is warm, sweet and salty in terms of Chinese Food Energetics. It goes straight to the Water Element organ of the Kidneys, helping to activate their function of fluid control within the body.

.

3. Warm the Qi with Food Energetics

As seen above, we can affect the balance in our bodies with that we eat. During Winter we need to reduce raw and cold food intake, cutting down on salads and turning to physically warm dishes like soups, stews and risottos. Apart from being warming, they also have a very “watery” aspect to them, which automatically connects in to the Water Element. Adding energetically hot spices like garlic, cayenne, chilli, ginger, or cinnamon is important in Winter as the temperatures drop down. But note, if you have a tendency to run towards being a hot person, go easy with those very heating spices, even in Winter – nourishing your Yin with rest, and gently warming with thyme, sage or rosemary should be a good balance for you.

.

4. Reign in the Fear & Ramp up the Reassurance

The emotion associated with the Water Element is Fear (or conversely, complete lack of it!). This element is all about risk assessing and then reassuring. In Winter, my fear tends to crank up a few notches, as the weather gets worse with snow and ice in the UK – it is riskier to travel, there is more disruption, more uncertainty, and my Water Element has a bit of a wobble! It might not be about the weather, but notice if fear is creeping in and holding you back, this exercise may help you reign in the fear. Write down the issue you are fearful about. Then divide the page in two, with a line down the centre. On the left, write down everything you can think of that is the “worst case scenario”, what you are afraid will happen, what could go wrong, what is stopping you. Once you have really connected into the fear of that column, and exhausted all the potential options (remember, the Water Element WILL find ALL the possible risks, so to harness the positive side of this power, you need to do the same!), turn to the right hand column. You may find it helpful to switch seats or go into a different room for the right hand column – be in a different energetic space!

For each of the risks or fears you wrote down on the left, write down ONE thing that you COULD do, if indeed the worst thing were to happen. For example, it could be the idea of moving to another city is too scary for you, despite your heart knowing it is what you want to do. So in the left column you might write, “I could move away and then not have enough money to support myself”; then in the right column, one thing you COULD do if that were to happen would be “I could find a flatmate”, or “I could move back home with my folks”, or “I could be creative with coming up with new revenue streams”… whatever feels congruent and true to you – this is not a BS exercise, else your Water Element will not feel reassured enough. It must feel as true as possible.

You should find that by connecting to the Water Elements resourcefulness in coming up with contingency plans, you can prove to yourself (and your Water) that even if the worst thing happened, you WILL be ok. Give it a try, it can be really liberating to write it all down and visually see if the bad thing happened, it really wouldn’t be such a big deal – and this is coming from a Water CF girl, who does the risk assessing thing constantly!!

.

5. Have Acupuncture!

And of course, having acupuncture will immediately connect us into the Water Element ready for Winter! There are specific points we call “horary points”, which have particular potency during their specific season. Don’t forget each of us has ALL of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water – within us, we just tend to have ONE of the Elements that we resonate most with, or is like our default setting… (read more in my FREE ebook to see what Element you might be!)… So although this post is particularly relevant to those Water CFs (constitutional factors or constitutional Elements) amongst us, we can ALL benefit from connecting in with the Water Element in Winter.

.

© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

See me on Instagram

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Visit the YouTube Channel

Check out my Pinterest

.

 




What Does Your Stress Look Like?

By Rhiannon Griffiths

Next week sees the arrival of the UK’s annual Stress Awareness Day, that happens on the first Wednesday of November every year. This year’s theme and focus is on stress being a balancing act. And acupuncture is ALL about BALANCE.

.

The balancing and harmonising affect of acupuncture, that uses ultra fine needles as thin as a human hair, makes it well placed to deal with stress. In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of endorphins (the happy hormones) and oxytocin (the calm and contented hormone often associated with nursing mothers) – leading to reduction of stress levels.

.

As a member of the British Acupuncture Council, and a traditional acupuncturist, I use acupuncture to address the root cause reason as to why a physical or emotional issue is present or persisting. The Five Element style believes that most often the root cause reason is in our default Element.

.

what is my element ebook on ipad thumbnail mergedIn Chinese Medicine, there are Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. We do have all of the Five Elements within us, but one Element is the dominant one, like our default setting, the one that shows itself the most in everything we do.

.

I might have five people all coming for acupuncture because they are stressed out, but each of them might experience stress very differently, depending upon which Element is dominant for them. One might be overworked, overwhelmed, anxious and tearful, another might have tight shoulders and feel irritable or frustrated. Understanding the kinds of habits, behaviours, blocks and emotions that you experience in daily life, is the first step to managing your stress levels.

.

The free ebook is intended to be a gentle introduction into the Five Elements, to give you an idea of what each Element is like, and to see if you can identify yourself in one of them. Download it by filling out the form below, I’d love to know what you think!

.

 

* indicates required




.

.

© Rhiannon Griffiths 2014

See me on Instagram

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Visit the YouTube Channel

Check out my Pinterest

.




What Does Going Off Coffee Have to Do With the Heart?

By Rhiannon Griffiths

A patient recently emailed me, surprised that she had gone off her beloved coffee. Having previously drunk a lot of the black stuff on a regular basis, she found she just didn’t feel like she wanted it any more. She was intrigued and wanted answers.

.

From my integrated Five Element Acupuncturist perspective, it wasn’t a surprise. Each of the Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood – have an associated taste, as well as many other resonances, read more in my new ebook. Coffee is bitter, and bitter is linked to the Fire Element. The main Fire organ is the Heart, and in Chinese Medicine and Chinese Food Energetics, the bitter taste is said to go straight to the Heart and affect the energetics, feelings and functionings of the organ.

.

Coffee Heart Five Elements Chinese Medicine

.

This is why I avoid coffee, I LOVE the smell, but its affects on me and my heart are super strong. I get shaky, light headed and feel sick, like my blood pressure has dropped. I feel my heart beating like mad, skipping around with palpitations.

.

For others, and maybe for you, it is different and the Heart is given some support from coffee – some boosting, a little kick in the morning of familiar warmth, of feel-good happy contented energy. But for some, a craving or too much dependence on coffee can indicate (or even create in the long term!) an imbalance in the Fire Element and it’s energy.

.

The more we return to balance in the Fire Element and the heart, the less we NEED coffee. And this is what had happened to my gorgeous patient. Through work on herself, with the support of coaching and acupuncture, she had become more in touch with her Heart. She connected with her Heart, acknowledged it and really FELT into it. She was fully enjoying this Heart space she hadn’t realised she had been missing.

.

So what does that have to do with coffee? The support from acupuncture and coaching had created a mindful, ACTIVE connection to the Heart space. This connected to the energy of the Heart, the nurture of the Qi (or life force) there, focusing attention there, shifting the energy there, creating a boost, a stimulation, a kick start of the Heart and the Fire Element. It therefore no longer needs to rely on the coffee and it’s bitter taste for that Heart boost or stimulation. As a result, the craving goes down, the body, mind and spirit no longer require it; it’s a sign that something internally has changed.

.

Have you noticed something has changed for you recently? Have you gone off a certain food, or found yourself suddenly reaching for something that isn’t normally on your menu? It could be an indication of an internal shift, one of your Five Elements is in a changing state of balance – towards imbalance, or toward a better state of balance. Share your thoughts in the comments below and my acupuncturists brain may be able to shed some light on it for you!

.

.

© Rhiannon Griffiths 2014

See me on Instagram

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Visit the YouTube Channel

Check out my Pinterest

.

Note: original coffee cup photo from Tumblr

.

Free Five Element Ebook CF




Awesome Aussies – Fehreen Ali

By Rhiannon Griffiths

I’m thrilled to have another “Awesome Aussie” on the blog this week! There has been a gap between my last post with an antipodean beauty, but this written interview is worth the wait! The structure of today’s piece is a little different to the others – more of a Q&A, but it does follow the structure of my other Aussie video blogs.

It is an absolute delight to have Fehreen Ali answering my questions – not only because she specialises in one of my FAVOURITE topics (the good ol’ cuppa!) AND teams that with holistic health, but she also brings all her warm, laughing, bubbling energy with her onto the pages here – it makes my heart smile!

.

awesome aussies.

Who is Fehreen?

I live in Queensland, Australia and am of Fiji Indian heritage. I’m an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and owner of the Tea Coup.

.

Don’t you have an unusual job title? What’s the story behind that?

Yes, I am an “Ayurvedic Teaologist”! The title first came about when my 10 year old daughter came home from school with a class project, in which she had to write what her mother did for a living. We came up with the title “Ayurvedic Teaologist” which summed up what I was all about – a life student of Ayurveda, who uses this knowledge to hand blend Ayurvedic inspired organic Teas and tisanes.

.

Rhiannon and fehreen.

We met…

We met online via the 90 day transformation project, as run by Connie Chapman. A beautiful bond was created, as we really understood each others passion – Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have so much in common, Doshas and the Five Elements, and so on, we were speaking from the same page! Then when Rhiannon visited Australia, and was staying on the Sunshine Coast, we met up in central Brisbane, drank tea together, walked around the farmer’s markets in the square, and didn’t stop talking all day!

.

market brissie.

You launched a brand new website earlier this year, tell us about it…

Three months ago I launched my new website for Tea Coup. It is where I have show cased my six signature blends – including “Rumi’s Blend” to balance, “Sweet Bohemia” for bliss, and “Zenzai” for a blast of zest! I also want to use this space to educate and make people aware of the benefits and healing properties of all the ingredients I use. I hope to continue promoting the awareness of Ayurveda and the importance of a great cuppa tea.

.

tea coup.

How did you get to where you are now? What led you to Ayurveda & tea?

Both my Ayurvedic studies and tea obsession began in my late teens. I suppose I was lucky to have found two big passions. Being a right brain child of the 70’s, I needed my Ayurvedic work to be creative – hence my love of creating lotions, potions and and tea blends.

.

What about acupuncture & Chinese medicine, your thoughts or experiences of it?

I do see a Japanese Acupuncturist regularly for general balance and well-being. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have many similar commonalities, from diagnostic methods, to massage, and the use of herbal remedies. Both traditions also share the common idea that healing is holistic, and that symptoms can not diagnose a person, the WHOLE person must be examined in order to obtain a proper diagnosis. Ayurveda and Chinese medicine (TCM) remain the most ancient, yet living traditions. I believe that we are blessed to be students of traditional medicine, as finally there is increasing global interest in both.

.



Best piece of advice, a quote or a recipe you could give to readers?

“A good life is when you assume nothing. Do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are”

 .

Gosh I love this woman, what a perfect quote to reflect the essence of her! Please do visit her beautiful new website – the photos alone are worth it, so beautiful – you can almost see and feel the Qi coming from the tea! I was lucky enough to be given the most delicious care package of teas (as shown above) from Fehreen, when we had that gorgeous day together in Brisbane – they travelled with me back home, and I have been drinking them ever since. As a loose leaf tea obsessive, I can say, these teas are up there with the BEST I have tasted – the energetics are also second to none, truly healing and full of goodness! <3

.

© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

Visit the website

Now on Instagram

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Visit the YouTube Channel

Check out my Pinterest

.




Awesome Aussies – Krys Hansen

By Rhiannon Griffiths

This is a slightly belated post this week, from a skype filming a fortnight ago with my fabulous and beautiful friend Krystal Hansen. The fourth vlog in my “Awesome Aussies” series introduces this gorgeous creature and discusses how May was her month of compassion, and how her next project focuses on making meditation easy and accessible to everyone, including a very interesting way of funding the project via community!

.

awesome aussies

.

Who is Krys? She is a modern yogi, an amazing yoga teacher and a holistic health coach. Krystal is another kindred spirit that I connected with first online via Instagram – I am @rg_acupuncture & Krys is @practisewellness – and on my arrival to Australia, she noticed some familiar local places in my photos!

.

me & krys.

In Australia we met up: on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. This is where my main base was for my trip in March, as I had flown into Brisbane from the UK. We spent hours chatting in Buderim, having had green smoothies and raw tartlets at the fabulous raw vegan cafe, Ground.

.

ground cafe buderim with krys.

In the video below we chat about what compassion means and how it creates a ripple effect of energy outwards to everyone around us; how our gifts / vocations, be it yoga or acupuncture, or whatever our paths are, find us when we are in a dark place, and leads us out into the light, becoming our professions.

Krys explains more about her latest project – The Modern Yogi Meditation Ecourse – and the community funding behind it via Pozible, you can pledge your support there right NOW!

And we also discuss what overlaps there are between the three body types in Ayurveda and the Five Elements in Chinese Medicine – how it is ultimately about understanding the seasons, how that relates to you, understanding what you are, what you might be like when you are in balance, and what you might be like when you’re out of balance! And most importantly how these ancient concepts are SO relevant to modern day life and can help you be healthy in mind, body and spirit!

Be sure to listen to the very end to hear about the strength of the HEART energy – it’s a gem of scientific info that will blow your mind!

.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IbAlstrUTs%5D

.

Although the May is now gone and the month of compassion has concluded, I encourage you to look on Krystal’s instagram feed or facebook, and check out what the beautiful prompt is for the day of the month you are on NOW – it will work for the month of June too! And if you are drawn to connect in with the energy of her latest project – the method of funding and/or the actual meditation Ecourse itself – then please do visit her website or the Pozible site for more details… its going to be an EXCITING project, one I am THRILLED to be a part of! <3

.

practise wellness logo.

© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

Visit the website

Now on Instagram

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Visit the YouTube Channel

Check out my Pinterest

.




1 2 3 4 6