Metal Element Imbalance

autumn scene for metal elementIn Traditional Chinese Medicine, having an imbalance of metal element is related to the lung, large intestine, and skin organ systems and meridians. Metal imbalances tend to show up most in the autumn. Acupuncture, diet, and lifestyle interventions all help rebalance symptoms and conditions associated with an imbalance of the metal element.

Having an imbalance of the lung and large intestine meridians does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with those organs, though it can be predictive of future problems if you allow the imbalance to continue.

Metal element is also correlated with:

  • spicy flavors
  • white foods
  • the season of autumn
  • emotions of grief, sadness, and letting go
  • sweating
  • respiration
  • IBS
  • allergies
  • immune function
  • sinuses

Symptoms of Metal Element Imbalance

  • skin issues such as dryness, eczema, acne (especially on the cheeks), psoriasis
  • dryness of the mucous membranes: dry nose, dry eyes, dry stool, dry cough
  • spontaneous sweating or difficulty sweating
  • prone to colds, flus, seasonal allergies
  • sinus congestion, drainage, and infections
  • asthma, bronchitis, and shortness of breath
  • trouble letting go, prolonged grief, depression marked by sadness
  • fatigue, weakness, easily tired by activity or talking
  • occipital headaches
  • sore throat

Metal imbalance types tend to self-medicate by overworking or oversleeping.

What Depletes Metal Element and Perpetuates Imbalance

  • excessive talking
  • dry climates
  • lack of cardiovascular exercise; sedentary lifestyle
  • lack of structure
  • accumulating material items, hoarding behavior
  • repressed and unexpressed grief
  • fried and fatty foods
  • excessive alcohol
  • smoking of any kind
  • self-criticsim and self-rejection

Foods that balance metal element:

  • radish
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • watercress
  • horseradish
  • pear
  • apple
  • leek

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The contents of this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this site is or should be considered or used as a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please schedule an appointment for personalized health advice.


About the Author:

Caitlin Gordon, M.S., L.Ac., C.M.F.P., is a functional medicine clinician, board-certified acupuncturist, and transformative health coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Amaluna Wellness, Caitlin treats patients online and in-person. She specializes in treating stress, anxiety, and depression without pharmaceuticals.

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