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Table 1

Mother-and-child Five Element acupoints of Chinese medicine and associated muscles according to Applied Kinesiology Mother acupoint Meridian Eleme nt ~tonificatio n

Child acupoint ~sedation Associated muscles

Lung Large intestine

Metal

LU9

LU5

Deltoids, Serratus anterior

Metal

LI11

LI2

Hamstrings, Tensor fascia lata Pectoralis major clavicular, Sternocleidomastoideus Latissimus dorsi Subscapularis

Stomach Spleen Heart Small intestine Urinary bladder Kidney

Earth Earth Fire

ST41 SP2 HT9

ST45 SP5 HT7

Fire

SI3

SI8

Rectus abdominis, Rectus femoris

Water Water

UB67 KI7

UG65 KI1

Peroneus, Tibialis anterior Iliopsoas Gluteus medius, Gluteus maximus, Piriformis, Adductors Teres Minor, Infraspinatus Popliteus Pectoralis major sternal, Rhomboids

Pericardium Triple heater Gall bladder Liver

Fire Fire Wood Wood

PC9 TH3 GB43 LV8

PC7 TH10 GB38 LV2

Table 2
Strategy for tonification or sedation based on Applied Kinesiology meridian therapy Within the same meridian Acupoints from related meridians

Tonificati on Sedation

Tonification acupoint =Sheng cycle Sedation acupoint

Support Grandchildgrandparent Control acupoint grandparent-

Element acupoint of the generating meridian Element acupoint of the son meridian

Element acupoint of the grandchild meridian Element acupoint of the grandparent

Child-mother

grandchild

Please answer the following questions for the element:

WOOD Mindenre igen: 42 pont. Egy nha: -2 pont Egy nem: - 4 pont
I suffer problems with the eyes (defective vision, inflammations, sensitive eyes or similar) I suffer from sleeplessness and/or often have nightmares An illness usually starts rather violently, suddenly and very dynamically and / or is caused by wind. I am very confident about my abilities and do what I think I must do, no matter what others think about me. I am a creative person I take guidance easily and with pleasure and / or reach my top form under pressure. I suffer from illnesses of the liver and over production of bile (hepatitis, inflammations, gallstones) I can be prone to developing cysts. sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes yes yes yes yes yes yes no no no no no no

An illness usually starts rather violently, suddenly and very dynamically and / or is caused by wind. I suffer chronic headaches (migraine), particularly in the area of the temples If something does not develop as I would want it, I can react with fury or withdraw offended. I can hardly control my emotions in stress situations. I act courageously and decisive, even if I do not have all the information I need at hand.

You are at: WOOD

FIRE
I have problems with my heart and/or my circulatory system. (as for example heart rhythm disturbances, palpitation, blood pressure variations or also cardiac infarction, stroke or similar) I can be inclined to having diarrhoea and violent flatulence with pressure on the diaphragm. I sometimes awake at night with palpitations, sweat outbreaks and internal restlessness and / or sleep very restlessly. sometimes I often suffer from tensions in the cervical area and shoulder area. I can be inclined towards varicose veins, haemorrhoids, thromboses or have other discomfort concerning my veins and arteries. I easily get a red head or 'hectic rush spots' if I get excited and / or inclined to sudden inner heat. I am a very lively person and an incorrigible optimist. I can well empathize with people and I enjoy body contact and emotional intimacy. I try very much to handle other people with honesty and openness. I frequently can feel hectic, nervous or restless I am sometimes scattered and absent minded. sometimes People see me as a charismatic person and are attracted to me. sometimes yes no yes no

sometimes

yes

no

sometimes

yes

no

sometimes

yes

no

Please answer the following questions for the element:

EARTH
I suffer from a rheumatic deseases or pain in my muscles and joints. sometimes I suffer from overweight and / or gain weight easily and there is no way getting rid of it. I suffer from inflammations in my mouth (bleeding gums, lip herpes etc.) sometimes I have or had an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, etc.) or have diabetes or a high blood sugar level. I have a sensitive stomach and/or have problems with stomach or spleen (digestive weakness, too much gastric acid, burping, etc.) I can be inclined to develop ulcers, fibre growth or humidity aggregations in the body I worry too much and about everything, and tend to bury myself in problems. sometimes yes no yes no yes no

sometimes

yes

no

I need stability in my life. I only feel good in peaceful situations and quiet surroundings. I give a lot of strength to other people and love the feeling to be needed. sometimes I tend to deal too much with other people's problems instead of taking care for myself. It is quite difficult for me to ask for something that I need and I often feel ignored. The contact with my family and my friends is enough for me. sometimes yes no yes no

You are at: EARTH

METAL
I am susceptible for illnesses of the respiratory tract as for example bronchitis, pneumonia and/or often have a congested nose or sinuses. I suffer from asthma or pseudo croup or have allergies and/or hay fever. I have dry skin / dry hair and/or incline to dry eczemas or skin rashes. My immune system is not very strong. I am inclined towards having constipation and / or bowels candida. I have many birthmarks and/or warts. I try always to keep order in my life; I am a neat and tidy person. sometimes I am a good organizer and a well structured person. I incline to perfectionism and can be very critical towards myself. sometimes I often feel sad and depressed and incline to pessimism. I do not allow myself to show my feelings and emotions. sometimes I love to solve problems with the help of logic and analytics. yes no yes no yes no sometimes yes no sometimes yes no

sometimes

yes

no

WATER
I have or had problems with my hearing (loss of the hearing ability, earache, ear infections, tinnitus, etc.) I have problems with urinary tract (urge to urinate often, difficulties with urinating, etc.) and/or suffer from a nephritic illness. I am inclined towards illnesses of the bones (e.g., osteoporosis, sometimes yes no

sometimes

yes

no

frequent osseous breaks) and/or am susceptible for dental illnesses like cavities. I have problems with the inter-vertebral discs and/or the lumbar vertebra column; my lower back hurts especially in the morning after I get up. I suffer from a glandular illness and/or sexual malfunction, to frequent vaginal infections or prostate gland problems. I develop illnesses and symptoms which become worse with cold climate and/or I freeze very easily particularly in hands, feet and in the nephritic area. I have a strong will and stand up for myself and my beliefs. My typical reaction to difficult situations is fear. I incline towards always assuming the worst scenario. I am patient and persevering, even if I am not lucky all the time. I like to get to the bottom of things to find out, what I want to know. I do not like to accept pre-determined solutions. I am inclined to being skeptical or even cynical. I am inclined to being introverted and would rather keep my thoughts for myself. sometimes yes no sometimes yes no sometimes yes no sometimes yes no

Five Element Questionnaire To help classify your Five Element nature. Please put one of the following values next to each question. Do not skip any questions. +2 If the question sounds a lot like you +1 If it is somewhat like you 0 is neutral -1 is not much like you -2 is nothing like you
Element One __Are you a natural born initiator? __Do you have problems with authority figures? __Do you suffer from pains that migrate? __Do you act assertively and confidently? __Does other people's slowness and clumsiness irritate you? __Do you like struggling against great odds to prove to others you can do it? __Are you frequently doing something or going somewhere? __Do you have high blood pressure? __Have you often been told you don't compromise much? __Are you driven to be the first and best? __Does confinement and sitting quietly drive you crazy? __Do you get frequent muscle cramps? __Do you like to make the rules and then break them? __Are you passionate about everything you do? __Do you like pioneering new trails? __Do your nails alternate between hard and thick and dry and brittle? __Are you impatient with uncommitted people? __Are you afraid to show vulnerability?

__Have you ever had tendonitis? __Do you love speed and adventure? __Do you tend to manipulate people and situations to get what you want? __Is controlling your anger one of your biggest problems? __Do you find any kind of restraint insufferable? __Do you do your best work under pressure? __Are you characterized as a type "A" personality? __Your favorite color is green. Element Two __Would you describe yourself as introspective? __Do you have a powerful sex drive? __Is the search for Truth a prime motivator in your life? __Do you hate superficiality in people? __Are you creative, imaginative and original? __Are you modest and fear being in the limelight? __Are you self-contained and self-sufficient? __Do you have problems with your teeth or gums? __Do you seek the deep mystery in everything? __Are you ever out of touch with your emotions? __Do you suffer with frequent backaches? __Are you ever tactless and even rude occasionally? __Do you have a very penetrating and critical mind? __Do you hate waste and conserve everything? __Is perseverance one of your strongest virtues? __Do you have hardening of the arteries? __Is it hard for you to share with others? __Do you suffer from isolation and loneliness? __Are you afraid of loosing yourself in others? __Are you considered enigmatic and eccentric by your friends? __Do you have remarkable powers of concentration? __Are you awkward in social circumstances? __Do you have trouble conforming? __Have you had kidney or bladder problems? __Are you watchful and objective with other people? __Your favorite color is blue or black. Element Three __Do you spend a lot of time and energy seeking the divine? __Do you have an enlarged or weak heart? __Are you charismatic? __Do you have an extreme aversion to pain? __Do you love drama, performing and being in the limelight? __Are you often spontaneous? __Do you get sores on your tongue and around your mouth? __Can't say No to anyone? __Do you tend to be more sensual than your friends? __Do you love to give your opinion? __Do you fear separation above all else? __Are you clever on your feet? __Do you desire fulfillment more than almost anything? __Do you bore easily with the dull and ordinary? __Do you blush easily? __Could you be described as extravagant? __Are you bright and scintillating at social gatherings? __Do you have eczema? __Do you have trouble with boundaries? __Is the need for intimacy a strong motivation? __Does sharing come easily? __Are you mostly optimistic and enthusiastic about life?

__Are you strongly empathetic? __Do you ever suffer from anxiety or insomnia? __Your favorite color is red? Element Four __Are you a "law and order' person? __Do you hold righteousness and virtue in high regard? __Are rituals important to you? __Do you ever have stiff joints and muscles? __Is chaos your enemy? __Do you have no time for nonsense? __Do you hold very precise standards? __Are you very sensitive to temperature change? __Are you intolerant of disorder and dissonance? __Is your skin and hair really dry? __Do you fear intimacy? __Do you have a strong aesthetic sense? __Does carelessness in others drive you up a wall? __Are you considered cool, dispassionate and distant? __Do you ever experience a tight chest with dry coughing? __Are reason and high principles your guiding light? __Are you ever a little too strict and nit-picky? __Do you have refined tastes? __Have you been called self-righteous? __Have you had a number of moles and/or warts? __Is social involvement on the bottom of your list of important things? __Do you ever have sinus problems? __Does your constant self control drive your spontaneous friends crazy? __Are you into changing other people? __Do you suffer from constipation? __Your favorite color is white or silver. Element Five __Do you see yourself as a service oriented person? __Are you working on being more self-reliant? __Do your friends often use you as a negotiator? __Is bloating and water retention ever a problem? __Do you struggle with inertia and feel "stuck" sometimes? __Does nurturing come easy to you? __Are you haunted with self-doubt? __Do you like to be in charge, but not in the limelight? __Does your efficiency leave something to be desired? __Does your need to be accommodating result in excessive conformity? __Do you often go through an identity crisis? __Do you have a strong need to belong strong? __Do you ever suffer from muscle tenderness? __Are you referred to as a "peacemaker" by your friends? __Do you regard loyalty as being one of the more important traits in a person? __Is your thinking too conservative? __Do you have a strong need to be needed? __Are you often involved in everybody else's business? __Do you ever suffer with swollen glands or lymphatic disorders? __Would you like things more predictable because things are changing too fast? __Do you tend to be overly protective? __Do unrealistic expectations leave you disappointed much of the time? __Do you try to be all things to all people? __Is there ever a deep "emptiness" in the pit of your stomach? __Do you have a squarish, solid physique? __Your favorite color is yellow.

Add up each section. Often you will have a section or sections that are negative. This is OK. Having a negative number means nothing for an individual element, it is the relationship between elements that is important. The element with the least amount of negatives (or the highest positive) is your dominant phase. We are all a mixture of elements so it is the proportion or relationship between them that is important. More than 20 points between the highest and lowest values is a sign of imbalance. One is the Wood element, Two is Water, Three is Fire, Four is Metal, Five is the Earth element. Example results from dominant to weak could look like this: Wood +18, Fire +9, Water +5, Earth -9, Metal 20. This is a Wood person with a weak Metal. To help balance the elements, sedate Fire, Tonify Earth and Metal. Metal 0, Water -9, Earth -13, Fire -16, Wood 25. This is a Metal person with a weak Wood element. To balance, tonify Water and Wood. Wood +6, Fire +4, Earth +1, Metal -1, Water 2. This is a mostly balanced person and general tonification is suggested. Knowledge of the 5 Element cycles and meridian theory will allow finding personalized QiGong by sedating that which is too strong and tonifying that which is too weak. The constructive, nourishing, generating or creative cycle of five-element theory: Water creates/nourishes Wood Wood nourishes Fire Fire creates Earth (ash) Earth creates (contains) Metal Metal collects (contains) Water The controlling, overcoming or destructive cycle of five-element theory: Water destroys (quenches) Fire Fire destroys (melts) Metal Metal destroys (chops) Wood Wood destroys (penetrates) Earth Earth destroys (bounds or absorbs) Water

Column 1 Earth
Strength: Diplomat, caring for themselves and others, balance between giving and receiving Weakness: Rescuer,inequality, taking on more then their share, unsupported Earth element personality types are good at bringing people together as they tend to be very likeable. They are natural peacemakers and use their charm, compassion and care to diffuse difficult situations. They also may begin to question their own worth and feeling unhappy. This can lead to eating disorders, overeating, excessive dieting or indulgence in diets. They must always remember to look after themselves and their own business as well as those of others.

Column 2 Fire
Strength: Inspirer, awakens potential and aliveness in others, influencing and enthusiastic Weakness: Performer, loss of identity, gives self away, overexcited, overextended Fire element personality is often the life and soul of the party. They are noticed because they exude a radiance and make people feel warm. They are entertaining, talkative and humorous. It looks like they know everyone and everyone knows them. They can burn brightly but briefly when not nurtured appropriately. They can exhaust their fuel too fast in their desire to be loved and to love and feel sad and melancholic. They need to get enough rest to

recharge and nourish their fire with foods and activities that support their element or they may become physically and emotionally overwhelmed and weak.

Column 3 Metal
Strength: Observer, detached observation providing the structure for transformation Weakness: Inflexible, over-structured, rigid, stuck Metal personality is usually neat, often proud of their roomy and spacious house, tidy and meticulous. They have a natural sense of good taste and usually do not overwhelm their space with bits and piece, readily discarding things that have outlived their usefulness. They keep strict boundaries between their professional and social lives and often have a talent for designing systems and simplifying tasks that they undertake. They constantly seek perfection and their relentless pursuit of perfection can cause a rigidness and feelings of being stuck or lacking spontaneity that may create stiffness, cause respiratory imbalances and problems with their bowel movements. To release these symptoms they need to use metal balancing environments and foods, practice relaxation, meditation and breathing techniques, so they can let go and enjoy life in the moment.

Column 4 Wood
Strength: Leader, explorer of the unknown, innovative, adaptive and expansive Weakness: Controller, over-go, over-performer, over-direct Wood element personalities are often ambitious and like to explore and travel around the globe or going on an introspective journey of the inner planes. They are fast in understanding most situations, readily spring into actions and often rush from one task to the next without stopping. They can become extremely frustrated by performing routine tasks or doing work that is lacking challenges and tend to use stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and even drugs to keep active or relax. They can inspire and motivate people with their action based approach and good sense of humor. When they cannot move on or progress, they feel blocked, angry and frustrated to the point of having a headache or emotional imbalance. They can unblock their energy with physical activities, wood element foods and remedies and appropriate actions.

Column 5 Water
Strength: Philosopher, brings light to what is hidden through reflection and renewal Weakness: Invisible, withdrawn, inaccessible, separate Water element people are artistic and operate with concepts not with doing. They often have a powerful physique and use their higher intelligence and creativity in their quest for truth. Often introspective, they find that they cant reach out to the outside world and feel like they are locked in the in an unreachable emotional dungeon and become obsessive compulsive or hypochondriacs. Nourishing water element with appropriate supplements, good rest, deep sleep and continuous emotional interaction with other element types can counterbalance their introspectiveness and help them come back to balance.

Characteristics of the five elements


WOOD the fresh and active energy of spring Wood stands for creativity, independence and a pleasure to play. It not only represents spring time, but our childhood as well. Wood always wants to grow preferably without limitations - and if you show him its boundaries it can react violent-tempered or insulted. Vivid green colours belong to the wood element as well as long-stretched forms and the sour taste. Physically, liver and gall bladder are the organs of the wood element. Emotions like anger and fury can be accumulated in the liver and cause serious health problems.

FIRE warmth and energy for an active life Fire stands for activity and pure life energy, but as well for our mental and intellectual expansion and spirituality. The season of this element is summer of course due to its warm temperatures. In the human life cycle, fire represents the first steps towards self-realization and thus our teenager age. The colour red in all its shades stands for the fire element, as well as triangle and pointed forms and the bitter taste. Heart and small intestine are the fire organs in our body. Heart and circulatory disturbances are typical symptoms of a disturbed fire element.

EARTH be centered with more stability and security Earth stands for stability, security and a strong family connection and often shows with an unflexible and conservative mind. It represents tradition, solidarity and the will to support those who are in need. Earth is a symbol for the center as well and describes the time of maturity in our lifes. All yellows and browns belong to the earth element just as flat and even rectangular forms and the sweet taste. On the physical level stomach and spleen belong to the earth element. The emotions connected with the earth element are sorrows and worries. METAL organized and structured into the autumn of your life Metal means ambition, determination, progress and persistance. It also stands for strategic thinking and rational dealing with money. Autumn is the season connected with this element. In our life cycle metal means the time, when we stop building and start looking for the essentials and get rid of old habits. White is the colour of the metal, its form is rounded, its taste is spicy. Physically an imbalance of the metal element shows most likely at the lungs or the large intestine. WATER source of wisdom and mental strength Water represents the mind and likes to think without limits. Emotions and enthusiasm loose their importance, life takes place more likely on a mental level. In our life cycle as in the seascons this is the time of winter, where we retire to the inside and concentrate on the important things. Black and dark blue are the colours of the water element, its form is irregular and wave-shaped. The salty taste belongs to the water element. Kidneys and bladder are the organs of this element, which can be harmed most likely by negative emotions such as fear and anxiety.

Five Elements Food Chart


In five elements nutrition we distinguish between cold, refreshing, neutral, warm and hot food. The following 5 elements food chart shows some categories.

wood

fire

earth

metal

water

--

All kind of grilled Fennel seed tea meat, bitter liqueur cognac, hot wine

All hot spices like -(cayenne

hot

pepper, chili, tabasco..),


wodka, spirits,

rum whisky,cinnamo
m,

warm

lamb, sheep, chicken, vinegar goat, all kinds parsley, cherry of dairy product made juice, green of sheep or spelt, wild garlic goat milk, all kind of aromatic herbs such as organo, rosmary, thyme, basil, juni-per berry, curcuma, mild paprika, poppy, cocoa, coffee, red wine, all kinds of bitter herb teas

amarant, quinoa, fennel, pumpkin, sweet potato, cherry, peach, apricot, raisins, coconut and coconut milk, vanilla, walnut pistachios, pumpkin and sunflower seeds pine seeds, linseeds, walnut oil, liqueur camomile tea, sweet wine

Game, oats, leek, chives, horse radish, garlic, shallot, raw onion, mature and spicy cheese, gorgonzola, blue cheese, dill,ginger, coriander, mustard, nutmeg cardamom, curry, carraway, bayleaf, clove, pepper

eel, trout, salmon, sole, anchovy, crustacea like lobster, crab, shrimp, prawn, langostini, mussels, all kinds of smoked fish

rabbit,

rye, brussel

beef, corn, gravel, goose, turkey, rice

pig, bacon, ham, smoked ham, nearly all kind of fish like carp, cod, sardine, tuna fish lentils, soy bean, kidney beans, azuki beans, black beans

neutral

strawberry, blackberry, raspberry,

sprouts beetroot, cabbage, green bitter almond, mejoram, hot beans, pea, carrot, potato, plum, grape, avocado , papaya, butter, egg, all dairy milk products, honey, marzipan, brown and white sugar, malt, maple tree sirup peanut, hazelnut, sesame,saffron, almond, malt beer, dates and figues, mushroom, peanut oil, liquorice

cottage cheese water

spelt, wheat,

endive, chicory

barley, millet,

kohlrabi, radish, octopus, squid,

refreshin sour dough, g yeast, duck,

and all kinds of wheat bran, chard, watercress bitter salads, egg plant, pepper, cress, artichoke, rucola kefir, butter celery, esparagus, mint tea dandilion, sage, mrilk, sour broccoli, buckwheat, elder, cream cream cauliflower, grapefruit, cheese, yoghurt quince, ale spinach, zucchini,
sauerkraut, sprouts, sour

chickpea, alga from sweet water like spirulina, chlorella and Afa, olives, mung beans, stinging nettle tea, oyster

cereal coffee goat milk

tarragon, nearly all kinds of sweet fruits like apple, pear or melon, tofu, soy milk, seitan, olive oil, sesame oil and soy oil, fruit and vegetable juice

apples, orange, yoghurt from mandarines, lemon, lime, pineapple, sour cherry, white wine, champagne, cider, rose hip tea, wheat beer, tomato Green tea, tea vermouth

cucumber, banana, mango, watermelon

--

Alga from the sea, caviar, salt, soja sauce, miso, mineral water with and without gas

cold

kiwi, kaki, karam-bole, rhubarb,

The Generating Cycle shows that Fire, for example, helps support Earth and the Control Cycle shows that Fire controls the growth of Metal. To understand how this might be applied, take a person experiencing problems with asthma. Asthma is a Metal (Lung) condition sometimes with an underlying psychological component of grief or sadness. From a TCM perspective, Asthma may present as a phlegm-damp condition. Following the five element theory, then, we see that the Earth (Spleen) may be weak (phlegm-damp coming from poor digestion, etc.) and not supporting Metal (Lung) resulting in an Asthmatic condition. Above is just an example to show how the theory is applied, we will continue with this example as we incorporate food into the five element theory. The chart below describes some of the common foods which serve to nourish their respective element:

FIRE (bitter) Grains Legumes Amaranth Corn Red Lentil

EARTH (sweet) Millet Barley Garbanzo

METAL (pungent) Rice Navy

WATER (salty) Buckwheat Aduki

WOOD (sour) Oats Wheat Rye Green Lentil

Peas Nuts/Seeds Sunflower Pistachio Pine Nut Pumpkin

Soy Almonds Asparagus Broccoli Celery Cucumber Mustard Green Onion Radish Apricot Banana Pear

Black Kidney Pinto Black Sesame Walnut

Mung Lima Brazil Cashew Green Bell Pepper Green Pea Lettuce String Bean Zucchini Avocado Grape Lemon Lime Plum Soft Dairy

Beet Cabbage Dandelion Root Carrot Okra Parsnip Vegetables Red Bell Rutabaga Pepper Spinach Scallion Squash Tomato Fig Orange Papaya Pineapple Strawberry Meat

Kale Mushrooms Seaweeds Water chestnut

Fruits

Cherry Persimmon

Mulberry Pomegranate Raspberry Watermelon Cheese

Cautions

Chocolate Sugar

Eggs

Using the above chart and our previous example of Phlegm-Damp type Asthma, the five element theory would suggest that we would want to eat foods which strengthen the Metal (Lung), Earth (Spleen) and Fire (Heart) Elements. From the chart we would choose a majority of our foods from the Metal grouping and an ample selection from both the Earth and Fire categorizations until our condition changes. An example of food choices, with functions from Paul Pitchford's "Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition", would be: Brown Rice - increases qi, strengthens spleen Navy Beans - sweet flavor, benefits the lungs and spleen (both aspects of the metal element) Almonds - relieve stagnant qi of the lungs, transform phlegm Mustard Greens - influence lungs, clear chest congestion, improve energy circulation Onions - resolves phlegm and inflammations of the upper respiratory system Radish - transforms phlegm Pear - affects the lungs, eliminates phlegm Avoid - dairy (which may add mucus/phlegm), meat (which may weaken the spleen) and sweeteners (which may weaken the spleen and contribute to dampness) In general and lacking the in-depth discussion from Paul Pitchford's text and others, for example, it is most important to eat foods which follow the basic tastes which correspond to the element that you are trying to strengthen and avoid foods which weaken it. In this case you would want to eat foods which fall into the pungent, sweet and bitter categories and avoid foods which aggravate these elements - sugar, meat and eggs. While the information presented here is intended to provide you with the basic theory, it is important to note that there are different food groupings which come not only from differing opinions but also complexities within the theory that leave a particular food open to interpretation. Other factors which influence the grouping of a food and your food choices are:

Therapeutic Actions: Bitter (Fire) foods are generally cooling (yin) and encourage contraction and the
descending of energy Sweet (Earth) foods are generally strengthening (yang) and encourage energy to expand upward and outward Pungent (Metal) foods are generally warming (yang) and encourage energy to expand and move outward Salty (Water) foods are generally cooling (yin) and encourage energy to move in and down Sour (Wood) foods are generally cooling (yin) and encourage energy to contract and collect Temperature - Within each categorization foods have differing temperature qualities which, while generally good for that element, may not be used during certain seasons or conditions. For example, if you had a common cold (Metal, Lung) condition you would decrease your intake of some of the foods which are generally cooling within the Metal element such as the fruits. Season - The current season will also play a role in which foods you may choose to eat. In the summer (fire, hot) we require more cooling foods and in the winter (water, cold) we require more warming, deeply nourishing foods. These factors along with the categorizations are worked into a persons diagnosis and general constitution to establish food groupings which overall help to strengthen the individual. The rest of an individuals preferences such as eating organically grown foods or not, choosing to eat animal foods or not, etc. can then be factored in to decide your final food choices.