Wood: Liver and Gall Bladder
The wood element is the domain of the liver and gallbladder and supports new beginnings, new directions, and growth. It functions at peak during springtime, and daily from 11 PM to 3 AM. Wood energy is characterized as quick and rising energy.
The PDF provides you with wood element theory. It also poses questions for you to reflect on how wood energy flows in you and in your life. Working with the information in the PDF will assist you in understanding how the wood element functions in you and how you might strengthen or unblock this energy to bring it more into balance in your life.
The Warm Up and the Five Element Stretches videos below are the same foundational movement sequences which support all the elements, including the wood element. While studying the wood element, you may focus on feeling growth and expansion as you move and stretch. Lengthen into your stretch. Notice where you hold tension in your body and consciously lengthen there. Feel yourself ‘grow’ in the stretches. Do the stretches slowly and feel where you are holding on and see if you can expand and lengthen rather than hold. Feel the suppleness and strength of new growth as you allow the wood energy to assist you in moving and stretching.
In the Ki Strengthening – Wood video, we play with ki testing and the effect on it of anger versus the effect of kindness. When we think angry thoughts, our body immediately tenses and we are weakened. The tension prevents smooth flow of ki. When we think kind, loving thoughts, our body is strengthened by freely-flowing energy and we are strong but flexible, like a tree or a new shoot.
Ki breathing energizes the body and mind and nourishes the spirit. The breath provides the fresh vibrant energy for growth and change. As you practise your ki breathing, imagine the exhalation carrying away anything holding you back from change and growth. Imagine restriction or blockage, perhaps withheld emotion, being released. On the inhalation, feel the breath carrying to you the energy you need for new beginnings. You may wish to focus on a particular project, dream, or goal. Before you begin, think about what is holding you back and then about what you require to accomplish your growth. You might even make two lists so that it is easy to imagine the things you are releasing and the things that are nourishing you. Anger undermines the wood element. Anger anchors you to the focus of that anger, thus keeping you from movement and growth. You may choose to release anger as you exhale and, as you inhale, take in everything you need to move and grow in a healthy way.
Ki breathing can help you relax and find new insights into what is releasing and what you require. Allow the energy that nourishes the bud’s new life in spring nourish you so that you may move freely in the world and find your own authentic and vibrant path. I have not seen an angry tree. Trees grow without inhibition of anger or self-consciousness. They grow to be themselves. Ki breathing can assist you in growing into your authentic self, as a tree grows.
The Shoulder Massage video teaches you some simple techniques to release shoulder tension and stimulate flow of ki through the gallbladder and liver meridians (channels). The gallbladder meridian flows through the neck and shoulders and the liver meridian opens to the eyes, so often when we have shoulder tension, there is energy blocking smooth flow in these meridians. Shoulder massage can help to remedy this and keep the wood energy moving and healthy.
The Wood Guided Visualization will give you an experience of this dynamic energy of growth. Use this visualization to become familiar with the quality of wood energy or to cultivate this energy when it is blocked or deficient, perhaps when you feel stuck or bored.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin