Shiatsu, the 5 Elements & the Meridians

Updated: 5 days ago

The 5 elements According to Chinese 5 Element Theory every aspect of existence goes through this cycle, water, fire, earth, metal, wood. These describe states of mind as well as physical states and are also found in nature. In Japanese Shinto belief, God exists everywhere – in the mountains, rocks, rivers, trees, birds, animals and people. Planting the seed in Spring, contracting and letting go in Autumn, and in Winter healing the kidney’s, bladder and nervous system until in Summer we open our hearts ready to flourish again the following Spring. The seasons have a cycle and so do we.

In Japanese Shiatsu healing protocol the human body has an added multidimensional energetic subtle body system, highly detectible by a trained therapist, whether by acupuncture or acupressure or kinesiology. This energy body is comprised of Tantien energy centres and Meridian channels. There are fourteen main energy pathways (known as meridians) in the human body. However there are quite a few more deeper meridians.

Each meridian transports the vital energy of our organs to the rest of the body in order to maintain physical, mental and emotional balance. Each Meridian is paired with another. Bladder Meridian is paired with Kidney Meridian. And each Meridian pair is associated with our internal organs. And each of these organs is associated with a Season.

Winter Season

Water Element:

  • Bladder & kidneys. Structure & stability of our bodies.

  • Spine, nervous system & sense of identity.

  • Endocrine & reproductive system are governed in winter.

  • Slow long cooking, stews, casseroles, soups.

  • Adzuki beans build the kidneys.

  • Foods: any slow growing vegetables growing down like carrots, swede, pumpkin, sweet potato.

Early Summer Season Fire Element:

  • Heart, small intestines, heart constrictor & triple heater.

  • Abundant energy, power, strength & destruction, joy, creation.

  • Bitter sweet.

  • Steam or lightly boil mature, ripe vegies.

  • Millet, corn & flour products.

Late Summer Season Earth Element:

  • Stomach, spleen & pancreatic functions.

  • Nourished & satisfied.

  • Sweet taste.

Autumn Season Metal Element:

  • Large Intestine & lung function.

  • Contractive phase. Elimination.

  • Pungent flavour like pickle foods, tamari, shoyu, broccoli & cauliflower.

Spring Season Wood Element:

  • Liver & Gallbladder functions.

  • Expanding energy of spring. Be open for change & be flexible.

  • Food: sprouts, leafy greens & vegetables. Any fast growing vegetables.

  • Oil for our joints.

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