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Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine. The five-element theory is rooted in TCM along with emotions, seasons, food, temperature and body function. The five elements are fire, earth, metal, water and wood. When we wear certain colors, it has the ability to express or suppress emotions that we are feeling at that particular time.

I woke up one morning completely "on the other side of the bed." Meaning, I woke up in an emotional, fired up mood. When I was getting dressed, I noticed that I had changed blouses five times and had the sixth one on. Spread across the bed were five different blouses all in the shade of red, including the blouse I had on. I started laughing and said, "Woo girl, put that fire out." It changed my whole attitude for the day and I decided to wear a color that would extinguish a fire. Then I had to figure out the source of my emotion.


The fire element represents the color red, the emotions of sweat, joy-panic, hysteria and laughter. These are emotions that use a lot of energy to generate over-reaction. We use phases like - "the heat of the moment, all fired up and blood boiling."

Sometimes a little fire energy is a good thing to lift us from the depths of procrastination. Wearing red would serve a great purpose in this instance.


The earth element represents the color yellow/tan/gold, and the emotions of worry or obsession. These are emotions that can easily turn into a catch 22 cycle of getting no where fast. Yellow represents the colors in the body of lymph and fat. When we worry or obsess over a situation, we typically overeat.

Sometimes our body needs to be more grounded and rooted. Therefore, wearing yellow would be a good thing to stimulate groundedness and practicality.

Five Element Theory - Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


The metal element represents the color white, and the emotions of weeping, crying and grief. These emotions can drain our energy. We turn "white as a ghost" when our energy is depleted.

It can also represent purity. Wearing white can bring to the mind clarity and purging of depleting energies.


The water element represents the color black or navy blue signifying the depths of the ocean. Where do we find the U. S. Navy? We find them in the middle of the ocean. These emotions represent fear and the sounds of groaning. It also shows a chronic condition that can show up in many different forms. Wearing all black shows our need to cover-up the things we don't want others to see.

When I was all fired up, I chose to wear a navy blue top in order to assist with the consciousness of putting the fire out. Then again, wearing the navy blue called to mind that which I needed to recognize. The navy blue blouse served a two-fold purpose for me.


The wood element represents the color green or a lighter blue. This element signifies the emotion of anger and the sounds of shouting. We often use the term "green with envy" which can represent insecurities that move our emotions.

The colors associated with the wood element can also represent growth and development, which is always a good thing.


Balancing your colors can assist you in harmonizing your emotions. Here's an example: Gold jewelry represents both the earth and metal element. Wearing red underwear and a red stone in your jewelry is the fire element. Black slacks, shoes and socks represent the water element. And a green or light blue blouse/shirt is the wood element. Get creative and pay attention to your emotions that are coupled with your choice of colors.

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.