Hey Movers and Shakers – You’re Likely a Wood Element

Dr. Ashley Abbs

By Dr. Ashley Abbs

Acupuncturist

Hey Movers and Shakers – You’re Likely a Wood Element

Did you take the world’s oldest personality quiz?  If not, before proceeding to an overview of The Wood Element (which if you’re a driven, over achieving Wood Element, we strongly encourage you to do!), we invite you to spend five minutes reviewing this article – you’ll take a quick personality inventory, setting the foundation for this important principle of Chinese medicine, and providing guidance on how you will benefit mentally and physically from Five Element Theory.  

What is Wood Element?

The Wood Element is represented through its association with spring, the “Yang” energetic that propels a sprout to emerge through the soil upwards and outwards towards the light - branch by branch, growing stronger and more resilient as it progresses.  After having spent a period of time in introspection during the season of Winter and the Water Element, the Wood Element evokes vision and empowered action to forage ahead and bring those reflections to the surface to become manifested in the wider world.   

wood element chinese medicine

The Wood Type Personality: The Mover & Shaker

The pioneer, warrior and visionary, Wood Element individuals are driven, assertive and charismatic.  They are constantly seeking growth and development to help bring their vision up and out for the world to see.  They are the movers and the shakers of all of the types because they enjoy making things happen and can easily bring their imaginative dreams to reality.  They enjoy taking charge and feel at ease in leadership positions.   

Wood Element-types have a strong capacity to organize and structure systems so that they are able to properly execute their plans and have others follow their lead.  They are constantly growing, pushing themselves to learn and improve their skills so that they can be at the forefront of innovation thinking outside of the box and pioneering the way for others while maintaining their position of authority. 

Unafraid to get their hands dirty, they prefer to learn by doing, knowing how things work and why allows them to be quick on their feet, initiating action and problem solving so that they can find the best solution to get the task done and moving forward to the next step.  

They have a warrior mentality and often abide by rules and truth with a keen sense of right and wrong.  They believe in justice and fairness and are passionate about helping and assisting in causes to help make the world a better place in accordance with their morals.  Wood Element-types are genuinely positive and upbeat, as they are looking to the horizon and seeing the possibility that lives before them that is waiting for them to take hold of.  

Positive Mindset & Empowered Action = Wood Element

Their go-go energy combined with their tendency for tunnel vision to bring their current project to completion can make it difficult for them to relax.  They tend collapse rather than ease into rest, which is why it’s important for them to schedule down time in their calendar on a regular basis to ensure that they have the endurance to see their vision through to its completion.    A Wood Type strongly believes that positive mindset combined with empowered action can take you as far as you want to go which can lead them somewhat unsympathetic and frustrated with others that find themselves stuck with negative stories and greater levels of hardship and circumstance that may be inhibiting the same level of growth that a Wood-type experiences.   

Best Practices for Wood Elements: Don’t Get Burnt Out!

It is important for Wood Types to remember that the strongest trees are the ones that remain flexible to bend in the wind over being too stiff and rigid, otherwise they risk being snapped or broken.  In this case a Wood type can risk being burnt out and resentful.

When stressed and out of harmony, a Wood type can become obsessed by power structures, becoming overly concerned with all of the ways that organization, structure and hierarchy can help them remain on top.  Creating an over-assertive behavior that when left unchecked can lead them to be autocratic, unwilling to see others perspectives with a “my way of the highway” attitude, potentially creating an environment where their counsel is just people pleasers and yes men over individuals that can add greater depth and opportunities for greater outcomes that the Wood type may not see.   

Or on the other side of the disharmony, a Wood Type can find themselves without direction, unable see their next move, they can feel incredibly lost and uncertain of their future. Leading them to become incredibly indecisive and the possibly slipping into a depressive state.  This may cause them to be inflexible to change, new ideas or creativity.  If this is occurring, it is helpful for them to spend time with their dreams, to help lighten their heart, and lift them up into a space that reminds them of their inherent positivity that will bring about their next steady step.   

Healing Practices for a Wood Type – Start with Moving Some Qi

The Wood Element type requires adequate movement of their body or they risk getting stagnant and inflexible.  Literally any form of movement works to accomplish this.  Choose something that gets your heart rate going, encourages a bit of a sweat and allows your muscles to be warm and moving. See how you feel afterwards.  There are many variables that come into play with exercise and movement it is important to honor what your body needs on a daily basis.  A Wood Element-type will often rely on their athletic tendencies and competitive nature to push themselves too far thus creating conditions for injury.   

Finally, consider incorporating vision boards or related tools that will trigger your imagination.  Wood Element-types are especially receptive to working with their active imagination. Taking the time to paint or draw pictures of your dreams and desires is important for them to guide the mind towards their goals and the “greater WHY”.  Not super artsy, use magazines and create a collage. 

Dr. Ashley Abbs is a registered acupuncturist, writer, mentor, and the owner of TerraSana Health in Calgary AB, Canada. She assists her clients in both her practice and online with the wisdom of Chinese Medicine, using the lens of 5 Element Philosophy to discover "Why They Are The Way They Are," so that they may trust their own inner wisdom and awaken their innate healing capabilities. You can take her 5 Element Quiz and learn more about Ashley at www.ashleyabbs.com or follow her on Instagram @ashleyabbs.

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