In ancient times, Chinese thinkers developed what is now known as the classic 5-element theory. It was then noticed that 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 water element influences your life. By doing so, you may identify possible physical/emotional imbalances and learn how to promote health and wellness.
Some people might consider the Water element to be the most important of all, for it is essential to life on Earth. No human, animal nor plant can stay alive for very long without it.
“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”
– Lao Tzu
Water can take the shape of any container and it can find a way around any obstacle. That is why a key feature of the water element is determination. If you observe how water behaves in nature, you will see that it has the power to wear away mountains over time.
Water is so persistent that it forms pathways that eventually becomes huge rivers. For this reason, as a water-dominated individual, you must honor this element and live according to its characteristics so you may find balance, health, and happiness.
“I am like water so to say, I will find my way!”
― Md. Ziaul Haque
When a person’s water element is in balance, they should have willpower, motivation, and drive to achieve their goals. There’s healthy introspection, deep thinking, and calmness.
When a person’s water element is out of balance, individuals can become workaholics or, on the other hand, lose the will to do anything at all. Because of this, people with water imbalances need to be careful not to work too hard and burn themselves out.
On the physical side, it affects every cell in the body. For example, if there is too much water, swelling and sweating will take place. If water is lacking, people may experience dry skin, constipation, dry mouth, and stiff joints.
Overall – A balanced water element supports a strong immune system and an inherent sense of physical power, health and well-being, including financial health.
You must know, fear is a reflection of a water imbalance and a water imbalance manifests in fear. Of course, a little fear is useful as it keeps us safe from harm. However, when it gets excessive it can lead to problems like phobias and anxiety.
The water element plays a key role in the human body, at least 60-70% of our mass is water. Our whole blood system is mostly water and every cell needs it to function. It lubricates our joints and hydrates our skin, not to mention it also cleanses and carries away all the waste products in the form of urine and sweat.
Water is a natural cleanser. The organs associated with this element are the Kidney and Bladder (our urinary waste-eliminating system). Consequently, kidney stones, chronic kidney disease and symptoms such as urinary leaking, cloudy urine, difficulty urinating and painful urination are often due to water imbalance. 
Does any of this ring a bell? Let us keep digging deeper.
TCM theory states that the kidneys stores our essence (Jing), and also stores qi (energy), yin and yang. Kidneys and Jing are associated with the human reproductive organs. Therefore, issues such as infertility and hormonal imbalances can often be traced back to this organ.
Healthy human growth and development rely on kidney-essence and qi. If this essence is low, people will suffer from development problems, teeth problems, flaccid muscles, and weak bones.
Back and knee pain are also common Kidney/Water problems, and this is due to the location of the Kidneys and their channel, which runs directly through the knees. 
According to the 5-element-theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Water element corresponds to the Winter season.
Winter represents the yin energy at its uppermost. During this cold, dull and snowy season, every creature stays in their shelter, there’s quietness, stillness, and silence. This time of the year allows the reservation of energy, it inspires a time of reflection, concentration, and rest.
The water element is represented by the color black (and deep blue). So, if you want to cultivate calm and clear waters in your body, you’ll have to add black-colored foods to your diet.
A few examples of black foods: sesame seeds, sesame pastes, blackberries, blueberries, black beans, beets, seaweed, black lentils, black rice.
Additionally, walnuts, almonds, raw honey, anise, chia seeds, quinoa, onion, garlic, oyster, salmon, crab, and eggs are beneficial to nourish the water element.
During the winter, try to stay in and stay heated. The kidney meridian crosses the foot’s sole, so make sure to keep your feet warm as well as your lower back. Drink lots of water, enjoy hot vegetable soups and prepare yourself with soft slippers, warm blankets, and cozy sweaters.
Eating hot spices and drinking warm drinks is advised. Chillies, black pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger tea are great examples of this.
Allow yourself to rest and slow down your everyday pace. Take time to introspect, you can find interest in journaling or reading a book. But don’t get too isolated though! It is important to spend alone time to meditate as well as to surround yourself with warm and loving people to recharge your batteries.
You can also try Tai Chi, Yoga or Qi Gong. These body exercises focus on breath, body movement control and awareness. The movements in these practices are designed to remove blockages along the body meridians and cultivate qi.
If you scored highest on the Water element, and your ailments are severe; be sure to apply acupressure to these points daily (between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm). And three times a week if your ailments are mild:
To help find each point, use the ‘cun measurement system’. 1 cun is the width of a person’s thumb, whereas the width of the two forefingers equals 1.5 cun and the width of four fingers (except the thumb) side-by-side is three cuns.
Chinese Name: Guan Yuan
English Translation: Gate of Origin
CV4 has a positive influence over the lower area of the body, including the Kidneys and Bladder. It is a great point for boosting energy and for fertility problems.
Location: On the midline, 3 thumb widths below to the belly button.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Supplements Qi and returns yang; regulates original Qi and dissipates pathogens; safeguards health and prevents disease; dispels cold damp and eliminates cold in the genitals;
Symptoms: Urinary frequency; urinary stoppage; painful menstruation, menstrual block and other menstrual disorders; prolapse of the uterus; lower abdominal pain; diarrhea; impotence; bed wetting; vaginal discharge; hernia; menstrual disorders.
Secondary Symptoms: Infertility; persistent flow of lochia; hematuria; rough urination with dark-colored urine; kidney inversion headache; summerheat strike; cold Qi entering the lower abdomen; Water swelling; kidney vacuity dyspnea; bloody stool; wasting thirst disease; dizziness and headache;
Chinese Name: Shen Shu
English Translation: Kidney Shu
BL23 is located directly over the Kidneys and has a powerful effect on these organs.
Location: 1.5 thumb widths outwards from the spine on the lower border of the L2 vertebra, at the highest visible point of the paraspinal muscles.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Strengthens transformative action of Qi; strengthens the lumbar and spine; boosts Water and invigorates fire; supplements the kidney; brightens the eyes and sharpens the hearing.
Symptoms: Impotence; bed wetting; backache and weakness of the knee; tinnitus; edema; vaginal discharge; clouded vision; deafness.
Secondary Symptoms: Bloody urine; aching lumbus and frigid knees; acute pain in the lower abdomen; wasting thirst; headache; genital pain; diarrhea and untransformed digestate; rumbling intestines; alternating fever and chills; cloudy urine containing semen;
Chinese Name: Taixi
English Translation: Supreme Stream
KI3 and BL64 are the water ‘source’ points and have a gentle, balancing influence.
Location: On the inner side of the ankle, in the depression between the prominence of the ankle bone and the Achilles’ tendon.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Enriches Kidney yin; invigorates original yang; and rectifies the womb.
Symptoms: Lumbar pain; toothache; deafness; asthma; irregular menstruation; insomnia; impotence; urinary frequency; sore throat.
Chinese Name: Jing Gu
English Translation: Capital Bone
KI3 and BL64 are the water ‘source’ points and have a gentle, balancing influence.
Location: On the outer side of the foot; in the depression behind the head of the 5th metatarsal.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Actions: Frees the channels and quickens the connecting vessels; quiets the heart and spirit; dissipates wind and clears heat.
Symptoms: Epilepsy; pain in the lumbus and leg; headache; stiff neck.
Secondary Symptoms: Nosebleed; mania and withdrawal; malarial disease; palpitations; splitting headache; diarrhea; fever and chills.
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 Water element points as well.
Take your acupressure to the next level using essential oils that support the Water element.
When you rub an element-supporting essential oil into an element-supporting acupressure point; balance is achieved faster and lasts longer.
Essential oils for Kidney and Bladder:
Basil, Cedarwood, Juniper, Geranium, Ginger, Roman Chamomile, Cypress, Sandalwood, Thyme, Black pepper
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.
Out of the list of Water supporting essential oils, you can mix some to make your own blend, or choose one or several depending on their availability or your own scent preference.
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 a person is drawn-to… which aroma they find pleasing. The body knows what is best, as long as people go with their 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.
 Z. B. Wu, C. G.; Zhu, Basic Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Publishing House of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2002.
 & S. Liu, J. Y., Liu, P. L., Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shanghai University of Chinese Medicine, 2002.
 Maciocia G, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine E-Book: A Comprehensive Text. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015.