Art of Healing, Understanding the Five Elements
Q&A with Lisa Dunlevy
Please explain the psychology of the five elements.
The Five Elements are stages of transformation: Water (birth), Wood (growth), Fire (ripening), Earth (harvest), and Metal (decay). They are different aspects of nature, as are we, and are known as “Wu Xing.” There are numerous parallels to each element including a corresponding season, climate, emotion, sound, smell, archetype, and even an organ.
For example, the wood element corresponds to springtime and the experience of walking outside, seeing the buds in the trees, and feeling hopeful. Watching the green sprouting from the ground, the trees, and vines is a visual experience and the element wood connects with having a vision, a plan, and a sense of creativity. Maybe you know someone with a lot of creative rising energy, or someone who lacks vision and doesn’t have a plan. This would be examples of how we are either gifted, or deficient in this element. All five elements are found within the individual, but there is one element that stands out and determines how we relate to the world.
How do you determine someone’s element?
When a new client calls me I listen to her/his voice. Then I also take into account what is ailing them, what part of the body is involved, are they frustrated with their condition, are they overwhelmed, have they waited a long time to call, or do they want to get this resolved immediately? When they are come into the office, do they move quickly, or slowly, what do they do for a living? These are all pieces to observe who that person is and to determine their constitutional element. Then we can move onto the virtues of each element, which helps with healing and becoming aligned with our purpose. The virtues of each element are Wisdom, Listening (water), Benevolence (wood), Partnership, and Truth (fire), Thoughtfulness and Support (earth), and Respect (metal). We aspire to have all of these, but one is most important to us. This part can also become taxed or imbalanced, and becoming our best selves and recognizing our natural talents can be very healing.
Can you explain what participants can expect from this workshop?
The class will consist of an introduction into the five element theory. We will also take a short quiz to evaluate which element we align with. Then we will either have a few volunteers share about their element, or gather in groups of each element. We will also have time to address questions, and then we will practice the Dance of The Phoenix Qi Gong practice.
What are the benefits of Qi Gong Practice? What does this type of movement involve?
Qi gong is a beautiful practice of moving our bodies to open the various meridians and bring harmony back to our bodies and mind. It is best described as a moving meditation that uses our breath and bodily movements to open blocked meridians and support the flow of qi or energy. It is a practice that helps us become more vital and calm, which is a beautiful combination.
Finally, how do you describe the connection between art and healing?
Learning about the five elements allows for healing as we recognize that we all have a unique gift or genius, that our challenges can also be our strengths and when we are aligned with our ‘dao’ we can find our purpose.
Join us to discover your element in Understanding the Five Elements with Lisa Dunlevy on Tuesday, March 3 from 5:30-7:30pm.
Location: Hazel Parker Community Center, 70 East Bay Street
Published February 26, 2015