In ancient times, Chinese thinkers developed what is now known as the classic 5-element theory. It was then noticed that the human physiology could be categorized into five different ‘types’.
For regular folk, in order to make it easier to understand; these five categories were named after five different elements. That way, element metaphors could be used to explain how each element (body and mind type) behaves… and how it can be treated.
Traditional Chinese Medicine states that every element is related to a season, a color, a flavor, an emotion, and a couple of organs in the body.
Keep on reading to learn more about how the metal element influences your life. By doing so, you may identify possible physical/emotional imbalances and learn how to promote health and wellness.
To understand how the metal element affects our everyday life, we must observe its characteristics.
Metal is a strong and cold material; it tends to contract, so it moves downward and inwards. It can become flexible when heated, and it may take the shape of any mold — however, when it gets too strong it may become super stiff.
Balanced metal individuals are often courageous, righteous, and persistent when it comes to their goals. They like to keep things simple, yet organized, and are full of determination and strength.
People with an imbalance in metal can be perfectionists and sometimes quite critical and defensive. However, they also tend to have a great sense of justice and will fight hard for what they believe is right.
Metal energy is highest in Autumn. Picture this: every year after a hot and active Summer always comes Autumn and its invitation to drop the pace and wind-down. Fall represents the last call to harvest and the dropping fruits of what was planted in Summer. All creatures collect food and materials, preparing a shelter for the upcoming winter and hibernation.
In this season, the leaves fall from the trees, animals shed their summer furs, and we humans as well must let go of useless things, people, thoughts or behaviors that are no longer serving us. This is a perfect cycle-closing time, which is essential to let go of the past and create new opportunities ahead.
The emotion associated with Metal is grief. This is often seen as a negative emotion, but in Chinese philosophy, it is seen as necessary. When someone or something is lost, we have the right to grieve, to feel sad and to miss them. However, as time passes, the loss smoothly fades, and healthy people can move on. 
We can spot a metal imbalance when somebody is not able to accept a loss and let go appropriately or has been excessively dwelling over it for a long time. On the other hand, unbalanced metal individuals can move on too quickly, with low emotional attachment.
Is this you? Perhaps this could be a useful reminder:
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the metal element governs the lungs and the large intestine, and it manifests through the nose and skin.
The Lungs and Large Intestine are linked to beginnings and endings. The Lungs take in oxygen from the air, and the Large Intestine removes waste products from the body.
The lung is a delicate organ, it is intolerable to cold and heat, and it is easily attacked by external pathogens.
If the lung/metal function is poor, it can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, nasal congestion, poor smell, cold sensation, chest oppression, cough, and difficult breathing. 
The skin protects the body like a metal armor protects a soldier. The skin is the outermost organ; it is our first line of defense against any pathogen or difficult weather. This organ excretes waste through sweat and adjusts our body temperature.
If the metal element is normal, the skin will be well-nourished, shiny, appropriate sweating and there will be a strong resistance against illness.
When there’s a metal imbalance, the skin can be delicate, dull or dry, people might sweat a lot and be vulnerable to catching colds or cough frequently. Skin disorders such as rashes, eczema, and dermatitis are also common and typically get worse in the fall when the air is dry and cool. 
As I mentioned before, the metal element is also related to the Large Intestine.
On a physical level, people with metal imbalances may suffer from constipation. This constipation can also be seen on an emotional level, as I mentioned before, it can be difficult to let go of past hurts and regrets. Because of this, people with an imbalanced metal element may shut themselves off from the world to avoid further pain.
Metal is associated with the color white. So, to balance out your metal element, you can start by adding plenty of white foods to your diet. Think of cauliflower, bananas, onions, pears, apples, leeks, potatoes, tofu, white fish, mushrooms, and egg whites. These foods nourish your lung and large intestine meridians, they will keep the metal in you on point!
Breathing exercises are also beneficial — breathing is a direct path to our metal organs.
It is advisable to practice Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong at least 3 times a week. These practices have a special focus on breathing and movement synchronization — they’re very effective to calm the mind, cultivate breath awareness, and strengthen the respiratory and immune systems.
Minimalism can play an important role in the physical practice of letting go. Decluttering yourself from material stuff will also cause declutter in your mind. Clean your house, your closet, get rid of the old, stored away stuff.
When you can detach from material possessions easier, then you can work on decluttering from people, situations or thoughts that are no longer useful.
Declutter every day and you’ll feel much lighter and happier!
If you scored highest on metal, and your ailments are severe; be sure to apply acupressure to these points first thing in the morning. And three times a week if your disease is mild to moderate.
Chinese Name: Shan Zhong
English Translation: Chest Center
CV17 is located between the Lungs and has a harmonizing effect on these delicate organs.
Location: In a depression on the midline, on the sternum, level with the 4th intercostals rib space.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Clears the lung and transforms phlegm; loosens the chest and disinhibits the diaphragm; regulates Qi
Symptoms: Dyspnea; lactation insufficiency; hiccups; chest pain.
Chinese Name: Zhong Fu
English Translation: Central Palace
LU1 is the first point on the Lung meridian and is great for lifting the spirit if you become stuck on a negative feeling.
Location: One thumb width below the outer end of the collar bone, middle to the coracoid process, in a definite depression in the 1st intercostal space.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Clears and diffuses the upper burner and courses lung Qi.
Symptoms: Cough; asthma; pain in the chest, shoulder and back; fullness in the chest.
Secondary Symptoms: Coughing; sweating; facial swelling; fatigue; fever and vomiting; difficulty eating; aversion to cold; heat distress; goiters and tumors of the neck; nasal congestion; abdominal distention.
Chinese Name: Tai Yuan
English Translation: Supreme Abyss
LU9 and LI4 are the metal ‘source’ points and can help to rebalance these organs.
Location: At the outer-end wrist crease, in a depression between the radial bone and the tendon of the thumb.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Rectifies the lung and suppresses cough; dispels wind and transforms phlegm.
Symptoms: Asthma; cough; palpitations; pain in the chest; sore throat.
Secondary Symptoms: Eye pain; headache; pain in the collar bone; cardiac pain; retching; dry throat; pain or lack of strength in the wrist; cold in the palms; dyspnea and fullness in the chest; body fever and sweating; toothache.
Cautions: Avoid radial artery.
Chinese Name: He Gu
English Translation: Joining Valley
LU9 and LI4 are the metal ‘source’ points and can help to rebalance these organs. LI4 is especially helpful for constipation.
Location: Between the 1st and 2nd metacarpals, on the radial aspect of the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone, at the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index fingers are brought close together.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Frees the channels and quickens the connecting vessels; relieves pain; clears and discharges lung heat.
Symptoms: Headache; nosebleed; swelling of the face; sore, hypertonicity of the fingers; pain in the arm; dryness of the eyes and mouth; dysentery; painful swelling and reddening of the eyes; swollen throat;
Secondary Symptoms: Loss of voice; cardiac pain; unilateral headache; constant thirst, fever; headache and rigid spine; tonsillitis; malaria with fever and chills.
Cautions: Do not use during pregnancy.
Use your personalized points to enhance other acupressure routines – If for instance; you were using acupressure to boost your immune system or relieve a headache, be sure to also apply your four Metal element points as well.
Take your acupressure to the next level using essential oils that support the Metal element.
When you rub an element-supporting essential oil into an element-supporting acupressure point; balance is achieved quicker and lasts longer.
Essential oils for Lungs/Large Intestine:
Cypress, Juniper, Pine, Clary Sage, Hyssop, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Frankincense, Teatree, Sweet Marjoram, Pinus, peppermint, inula
Out of the list of Metal supporting essential oils, you can mix them to make your own blend, or choose one or several depending on their availability or your own scent preference.
Homeostatic Intelligence – essential oils carry the life force/life blood of the plant.
The purpose of this ‘life blood’ is to keep the plant alive and healthy. This divine intelligence also empowers the body to heal better and faster.
Essential oils need to be diluted before applying to the skin as they are just too concentrated to use on their own. Mix your essential oils with something natural like cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil before you use them.
It is also important which essential oil the person is drawn to – which aroma they find pleasing. The body knows what is best, as long as we go with our natural instinct and don’t bring the mind into it!
PLEASE NOTE: There are many cheap, synthetic copies of aromatic oils, but these are not recommended for therapeutic use. For best results purchase the highest quality oils you can possibly find. Use certified organic essential oils, or oils that have been tested and are pesticide free.
 J. R. Worsley, “Classical Five-Element Acupuncture: The Five Elements and the Officials.” p. 327, 1998.
 & S. Liu, J. Y., Liu, P. L., Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shanghai University of Chinese Medicine, 2002.
 Z. B. Wu, C. G.; Zhu, Basic Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Publishing House of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2002.