the Metal Element

The Metal element (Scissors) is associated with the Lungs and the Large Intestines. Metal (Lungs) regulates Wood (Liver) feeds Water (Kidneys) and is fed by Earth (Spleen)

The Lungs and Large Intestines are considered the beginning and the end so to speak – the taking in of the new and releasing the old and useless. They are the intermediary organs between our insides and the environment.

The Lungs are in charge of respiration, inhaling air and governing Vitality. They enrich the Blood bringing in Vitality and oxygen, which facilitates higher energy levels, clarity of mind, healing and tissue regeneration. They also assist the Heart in controlling Blood circulation and play a vital role in the movement of body fluids.

The most important Lung function is to extract and clean Vitality from the environment for the body. They inhale air and Vitality, purify it and exhale the toxins and debris. This constant exchange and renewal process spreads Vitality all over the body, nourishing all tissues ensuring the proper functioning of all the body’s physiological processes and circulation to the limbs, which require the purified air and Vitality as their basis. The Lungs also influence the immune system. It is at the Lungs and Large Intestines, where yin and yang meet; where “dis-ease” begins to invade the interior of the body. It is also where to begin the process of pushing dis-ease out of the body.

The opening and closing of the pores is normal and the Lungs are responsible for the excretion of body fluids through sweat or urine. They also play an important part in maintaining the health of Blood vessels, not only controlling circulation in the Blood vessels themselves, but also the flow of Vitality in all meridians.

The Lungs control the skin and manifest on the hair. The nose is the opening of the Lungs, and through it, respiration occurs. When the Lungs are weak, the nose will be blocked; there may be loss of the sense of smell or sneezing. Lungs are often affected by emotional problems deriving from depression, sadness, grief, anxiety or bereavement.

Psychological indications of an imbalance may manifest as tiredness, lack of determination, a tendency to be disappointed, over-dependency, a lack of positive thinking or perpetual dissatisfaction; no friends with whom to confer, a mental collapse, hypersensitivity, over anxiety, antisocial behavior, a tendency to be obsessed with anxiety over small details or an inability to release. If Lung function is impaired, the pores may be open and there may be spontaneous sweating and a proclivity toward illness and disease; fluids may accumulate and give rise to edema – if the skin and hair are deprived of nourishment and moisture, the skin may be rough and dry or the hair will have a withered, dry quality. There may be a lack of Vitality in facial expression and the voice may be low, while if the Lungs are obstructed by phlegm, the voice tone may be muffled. One may experience breathlessness or shortness of breath or have a tendency to sigh or choke while breathing. The limbs, particularly the hands, will be cold and one may have a tendency to shiver. There may be headaches causing a flushed complexion, a constant running nose, nose bleeds, painful sensations in the lower teeth, whitish eyes, itchy skin, inflammation, lack of exercise, epilepsy or a tendency to catch cold. Other physical manifestations of imbalance include stiffness in the chest or arm muscles (on the thumb side), lack of circulation and fatigue in the thumb, difficulty breathing while lying in prone position, a tendency to easily tear or cough, a tendency to overeat, malfunctioning of the large intestine, hemorrhoids, constipation with occasional diarrhea when digesting coarse foods or no strength in lower part of the body below the hips.

The strength, tone and clarity of voice are dependent on the Lungs; when healthy they are compared to a bell, giving off a clear ringing sound, which is the voice. If Lungs are strong, the nose will be open, respiration will be easy and the sense of smell will be normal. When strong, the immune system will be strong and one will have a good resistance to illness and disease. The skin will have luster, the hair will be glossy, the opening and closing of the pores and sweating will be normal. The circulation of Vitality and Blood will be good and the limbs will be warm.

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