the liver = wood

The Chinese Medicine Element of Wood

Each of the Five Elements in Chinese Medicine has a corresponding organ system. Each of the Elements and their organs are connected very closely with all four of the other Elements. Together, they make up the ecosystem of the body, mind and spirit. These Five Elements are what Zen5’s Chinese Medicine practitioners use to make a diagnosis of our clients. We then use the information to make a treatment plan that helps get the client’s body, mind and spirit back to optimum balance and health. By creating internal balance using the Five Elements, we help to establish harmony in body, mind and spirit.

The Liver in Chinese Medicine is part of the Wood element.  Think of the force with which a sprout comes up from the ground during Spring, the season of Wood.  This strong, motivating Yang energy can be used to push upward – in human terms, motivate us into movement – the positive side of Wood emotional energy.  If it’s out of balance though, meaning that there is too much or too little of this energy, it can cause inappropriate outbursts of anger, or lack of motivation respectively.   These two are both negative aspects of Wood.  In these days of nine to five work indoors, in often frustrating environments that focus on tiny details and intricate planning, many people’s Liver energy gets stuck, and can’t move freely.   Another thing that adds to this kind of problem is having to keep our emotions in check, and be diplomatic without expressing what we truly feel, or saying what we’d like to.  Because the Liver’s main function in Chinese Medicine is to regulate the emotions, when this happens we end up with what Chinese Medicine practitioners call “Liver Qi Stagnation”.   This problem often begins as emotional but, if left untreated, can have physical effects as well.   At night, the Liver houses the Blood, and the part of the Spirit that dreams.  It also nourishes the nails and the tendons.

Liver energy is balanced out by the Heart (Fire, which uses Wood as fuel) and the Spleen (Earth, the place from which trees and plants grow).  For this reason, our Chinese Medicine practitioners look at the body as a whole when they see an imbalance in one of the Element.  They try and find the root of the problem – which is very often the Liver, because of our busy city lifestyle here in Melbourne.

Inappropriate anger, tension, irritability, intolerance or hyperactivity indicate that the Liver needs to be calmed down.  This can be done using Chinese Herbal Medicine (we even have a herb that translates to “Dragon Liver Grass”!).  Acupuncture, Chinese massage, Qigong and dietary therapy are also very helpful for Wood Element problems.

Imbalances in Wood (Liver) energy are reflected in such problems as:

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)







Frequent Miscarriage

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Upper back and neck pain

Dizziness and Vertigo

Hepatitis and Jaundice


We recommend:

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Cupping, Moxibustion, Diet Therapy, QiGong or Tai Chi.

Visit a Zen5 Chinese Medicine clinic in the North, South, East or West of Melbourne.  Book online or call one of the clinics direct.

Related Ailments

  • Back

  • Cholecystitis

    Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine, no spicy food or alcohol

  • Frequent Miscarriage

  • Gallstones

    herbal medicine, acupuncture, no spicy food and alcohol

  • Golf Elbow

    electronic acupuncture, herbal patch

  • Hepatitis

    herbal medicine, Qigong

  • Hepatobiliary Disease

    herbal medicine, Qigong, no spicy food and alcohol

  • Hormonal Imbalance

    herbal medicine, acupuncture, Qigong

  • Hyperthyroidism

    herbal medicine, spooning, Qigong, acupuncture, relexology

  • IVF

    IVF Acupuncture & Pregnancy Acupuncture in Melbourne

    When combined with herbal medicine, acupuncture has been used to treat infertility for almost one thousand years. Pregnancy acupuncture can help to increase the chance of conceiving. It is especially effective for infertile female above 35 years old and men with low sperm mobility. Pregnancy acupuncture will increase the chance of conceiving by up to 40%.
    Fertility acupuncture it is particularly helpful for people that have a functional rather than structural reason for infertility and they have the potential effect of improving ovarian and follicular function. Patients are commonly treated with fertility acupuncture for three to four months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment is known to have a therapeutic effect on the person being treated.

    Fertility & Pregnancy Acupuncture Treatments

    Pregnancy Acupuncture can treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Fertility acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat:

    • Elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
    • Repeated pregnancy loss
    • Unexplained infertility
    • Luteal phase defect
    • Hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma)
    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles
    • Male factors including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation

    IVF Acupuncture Melbourne

    IVF Acupuncture is an ideal assistant treatment for IVF insemination; we encourage women to receive IVF acupuncture treatments before and after embryo transfer, especially few hours before you receiving the IVF treatment.
    It is also advisable for pregnant women to receive a pregnancy acupuncture treatment to prevent miscarriage. Treatment of patients undertaking fertility acupuncture may often last through week twelve to help prevent miscarriage, since most miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy.

    Enquire about Pregnancy, Fertility and IVF acupuncture at our Melbourne based Zen 5 medicine centres.

  • Menopause

  • Neck And Shoulder Pain

  • Period Pain

    acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping

  • PMS

    acupuncture, Qigong, herbal medicine

  • Rheumatoid Arthriti

    acupuncture, herbal medicine, Qigong, diet therapy

  • Sciatica

    acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine

  • Tennis Elbow

    electronic acupuncture, massage