According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the 5 elements are the basic principle of all life. Each element is related to a season, climate, time, sound emotion, colour, flavour, smell, body fluid, physical manifestation, organ and even an age cycle. Therefore, in essence, the elements affect our entire lives. Although every living thing contains all the elements, there is always one element more dominant than the rest. This deals with our personality and the period of our lives that we are in.
We can determine this by observing the person’s behaviour, stature and susceptibility to disease or weakness in certain body parts.
The 5 elements are wood , fire, earth, metal and water. More information about the elements are covered in my article “How the 5 elements & meridians relate to reflexology” It is also important to note that in Chinese medicine the organs have metaphysical functions as well which link with emotions.
We start off with ‘Wood’ the element associated with spring. It is the foundation of life and can be known as the ‘birth’ and ‘growth cycle’. The quality and nutrition of food intake is vital in this period. The foundation of education is also very important. Generally we would say that this period is from birth to adolescence in a person’s life.
In essence Summer is the season of maturity, growth and awareness.
In TCM Summer is associated with the Fire element which controls the Heart, small intestine, circulation and the endocrine meridians.
Summer is the season to have fun and pay attention to the things you are passionate about. It is the season to get active to get your body, heart and circulation working.
It took me a while to write this article. I like to write from an unbiased viewpoint, and this topic seemed have quite a few debates for different questions surrounding the topic
. In our reflexology course, we learned that an alkaline diet contributed to our health and that a mostly acid forming diet encourages diseases. However, some research for this article suggested that diet does not have that big affect on the acid / alkaline pH of the body . And it probably doesn’t, because the body uses homeostatic mechanisms to ensure that all parts of the body remain at its normal pH balance.
The blood pH balance is the most important, if we go out of the 7.35 – 7.45 range our lives are at serious risk – this could happen, for example, due to a terminal illness. So how do the homeostasis mechanisms work? Minerals are taken from the saliva, body fluids, and if we do not have the correct minerals from our diets, minerals are leached from our bones and body tissues to correct the blood pH and other organ pH.  I do believe that there needs to be a lot more research done on this topic, however, the alkaline diet works because it has an emphasis on eating lots of vegetables and making healthier food choices.
This article is especially for anyone who is interested in studying reflexology or if you are interested in the ‘behind the scenes of reflexology’.
Reflexology is something that is quite difficult to explain in one sentence. It is both a science (using the concepts of anatomy and physiology of the body) and an art (the pressure and techniques used).
People know basically what it is – that there are reflexes mapped in the feet that correspond to different body parts.
The common know effects of reflexology are: helping with sleep, improving relaxation and improving digestion and alleviating pain. While all these are great, and are signs of the body healing, I came to learn that there is a lot more to reflexology than this.
I have started incorporating Foot Mobilisation into my practice after doing this well worth course. Many people have asked me about it, so I thought I should write about it in a little more than a 2 sentence explanation.
Let’s start by defining the words ‘Foot Mobilisation’ – mobilise means to move, the word mobilisation means ‘the action of making something move or capable of movement.’. It can also mean ‘an act of marshalling and organising and making ready for use or action’. So foot mobilisation can be understood as moving the foot or making it movable. Foot mobilisation is moving the bones of the foot, ‘persuading’ the bones to move back into the correct position for better movement – which effects are the joints and skeletal system.
Understanding body constitutions of homeopathy, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda
As holistic health practitioners, we often mention that no treatment is the same because no person is the same. This goes beyond genetics and lifestyle, however, the latter may affect your constitution or your constitution may affect your lifestyle and other things that make you you, particularly your health and the way that you respond to the environment and other stimuli.
Salads are not always that healthiest option!
The field of food and nutrition is quite complex. It is no wonder people get so frustrated with diets and jump from one diet to the next. Personally, I do not believe in ‘dieting’, but rather to incorporate a way of eating with your lifestyle. Articles on nutrition are often said to be ‘contradictory’. I believe this to be because different people need different nutrition and react to foods differently. What is good for one person is not always good for another. It is difficult to incorporate everyone in a generalised write up.
There are so many lifestyle ‘healthy’ diets that are out there today. There’s the banting diet / paleo foods, rawtarians (raw food diet), acid alkaline, the low-fat diet, etc. Now, I’m not saying that any of these diets are wrong, but I don’t think any of them are completely right for the entire population either.
I recently came across an article about yin / yang balancing and thought I’d do some more research about yin and yang foods. I have found this to be one of the most holistic ways of eating. I personally find that this way of eating lives up to its nature. It is very balanced and logical. I feel many people have lost ‘common sense’ when it comes to food.
Salads for summer and veggies for winter.
I decided to write up about bone health (as well as nails and hair), because in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), winter is the season where bones, hair and nails is mostly affected. I am sure many can relate with increased skeletal pain and dry, brittle hair and nails.
An holistic health approach is necessary to look after our bones and skeletal system. When thinking of healthy bones we need to think of nutrition, exercise, hormonal balance, medication and the health of the rest of the body.
When it comes to nutrients, most of us assume that more calcium is the answer, but it is not.
“Bone health depends not so much on calcium intake, but rather on its metabolism and utilization. The major players in this regard are vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium — which are woefully under-publicized in the campaign against osteoporosis”. 
Magnesium is in actual fact the key mineral in bone health, and taken with collagen is even better. One study showed that taking calcium supplements increased bone density by 7%; Magnesium supplements increased bone density by 70% and Magnesium and collagen increased bone density by 170%.
21st June is the winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night…also officially the first day of winter.
In essence, winter is the season of resting and inner work.
In TCM Winter is associated with the Water element which controls the Kidney and the Bladder. Winter is the season to slow down even more than in autumn. It is the season for quiet and stillness, to be able to listen to our intuition.
Have you ever heard people talking about illness or disease being ‘all in the mind’? How often have people been diagnosed with more serious diseases or illness after a tragic incident?
We are holistic beings – our mind and bodies work together to create an outcome and they work together in order for us to live and create the life that we are living.There is also another more ‘mystical element’ that plays a role in our lives, most holistic health practitioners would call this the spirit or the innate energy source within us. From my research and studies, I would say that the spiritual part of health and disease would be metaphysics. Metaphysics is a difficult term to explain in a few words.