Category: Paper

a Wood poem

I am birth, creation, the beginning of life
I am the season of spring and like this season, I burst forth
I am the first expression of my seed in water
I put shape into myself, I plan and decide structure and form
I navigate where, when, and how shall I grow

the Wood Element

The Wood element (Paper) is associated with the Gall Bladder and the Liver. Wood (Liver) regulates Earth (Spleen) feeds Fire (Heart) and is fed by Water (Kidneys)

The Liver is the most important organ for storing Blood and by so doing; it regulates the volume of Blood in the body at any one time. This function of storing Blood is extremely important in women’s physiology and pathology. Many gynecological problems are due to a malfunction of Liver energy. The Liver regulates menstruation; if the Blood in the Liver is deficient, there will be amenorrhea or oligomenorrhoea. If the Blood in the Liver is in excess or hot, there may be menorrhagia or metrorrhagia.

The Liver cleans the Blood, repairs or discards broken Blood cells and ensures the smooth movement of Blood and Vitality throughout the body and to the appropriate places in the body at the appropriate times. When the body is active, Blood and Vitality flows to the muscles, nourishing and moistening them to enable them to perform. This self-regulating process is coordinated with physical activity. The state of the sinews and tendons affects our capacity for movement and physical activity; the sinews’ capacity for contraction and relaxation depends on the nourishment and moistening of the Blood from the Liver. The Liver also has an important influence on energy level; with the body at rest, Blood returns to the Liver and contributes to recovery capacity, restoring energy and contributing to the body’s resistance to exterior pathogenic factors.

The Liver is the origin of courage; healthy Liver function enables great creative drive and resoluteness, with an indomitable spirit. It also imparts the capacity to plan life smoothly and wisely and deeply influences emotional state. If normal, Vitality flows normally and emotional life is happy. In disease, a Liver disharmony can manifest with an inability to plan our life and a lack of direction; Vitality becomes restrained giving rise to emotional frustration, depression or repressed anger, ac¬companied by such physical symptoms as hyp¬ochondriac pain, sensation of oppression in the chest, a feeling of “lump” in the throat or ab¬dominal distension. In women, it may give rise to pre-menstrual tension including depression, irritability and distension of the breasts.

Repressed anger will impair the Liver function and lead to a breakdown of the smooth flow of Vitality. Psychological indications of an imbalance of the Liver may manifest as irritability, always being in a hurry for no reason, outbursts of anger or becoming easily upset, being short-tempered, impatient, inconsistent, nervously sensitive, paying abnormal attention to trivial matters or being stubborn with a tendency to never give up. One may be a hard worker, with a tendency to push themselves and assume too much responsibility or they may work impatiently and impulsively until exhausted. Easily affected emotionally they may sometimes scream in loud voice or display emotion and then control them.

The skin and muscles will lack irrigation and nourishment from the Blood at the appropriate times when Liver function is impaired and the body will be more liable to attack by exterior pathogenic factors; the strength of the Lungs is also an important factor in the resistance to exterior pathogenic factors.

There is a relationship of reciprocal in¬fluence between the Blood and Liver: if Blood is abnormal (deficient or hot), it may affect the Liver function. If, on the other hand, the Liver function is abnormal, it may affect the quality of the Blood, causing certain kinds of skin diseases, such as eczema or psoriasis. If Liver energy is stagnant, it may lead to stagnation of the Blood causing painful periods with pre¬menstrual tension and the menstrual Blood will have dark clots. The flow of bile may be also obstructed re¬sulting in bitter taste, belching or jaundice.

Although anatomically situated on the right side, the left side of the body relates to the Liver in various ways; headaches on the left side of the head may correlate to the Liver. If this regulatory function is impaired, there will be lack of Blood and therefore nourishment where and when it is needed and one will become easily tired.

The eye is the sense organ connected to the Liver. The Blood of the Liver moistens the eyes. If Liver Blood is deficient, there may be blurred vision, myopia, “floaters” in eyes; color blind¬ness or the eyes may feel dry and gritty; the sinews will lack moistening and nourishment which may cause contractions and spasms or impaired extension or flexion, numb¬ness of limbs, muscle cramps, tremors, tetany or lack of strength of the limbs and the nails will lack nourishment and become dark, indented, dry and cracked. If the Liver has too many toxins, the eyes may be Blood¬shot, and feel painful or burning. The eyes also reflect the state of the mind and the Heart. Other physical manifestations of an imbalance of the Liver may include overeating, constipation, an inability to gain weight, excessive sugar or alcohol drinking, swollen chest and stomach, heaviness in the head, dizziness due to lack of Blood, high fever without cause, chillness, coughing, pulling in the anal area causing hemorrhoids, prostrate problems, sensations in the testicles or pain in the sacrum and coccyx. Also weak joints, a tendency to stumble, a red face, a lack of sleep causing tired eyes, glassy eyes, yellowish in white part of eye; pain, tearing and pressure behind the eyes, a tendency to blink frequently, stiffness in the extremities, pain in the rib cage, a burning sensation in the chest or shoulder pain, bloated stomach, and yellowish skin.

When the Liver stores Blood normally, menstruation will be nor¬mal. If Liver Blood is abundant, the eyes will be normally moist and the vision will be good. The sinews will be moistened and nourished, ensuring smooth move¬ment of joints and good muscle action. The nails are considered a “by- product” of the sinews in Chinese Medicine and are under the influence of Liver Blood, they too will be moist and healthy.