Spring’s Wood Element & Personality Characteristics

In Chinese medicine, we use nature’s five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) to guide us in diagnosis, treatment, food and herbal therapy, and lifestyle suggestions. Their symbolisms are the foundations for survival, maintenance, and growth. 

When we use nature’s wisdom to live in accordance with each season, we live a life of ease. When we go against our internal nature and that of mother’s nature, dis-ease may become present.

While I write this, we are in early spring. In northern Ohio, the air is still chilled, yet green sprouts and buds are popping up persistently.

This persistence parallels those who resemble the wood element. A seedling, similar to an idea, thought or vision, must push through its hard shell to sprout the beginnings of its internal creation. It is its persistence that allows for it to reach through to the other side. The sunny side.

Those that exemplify the wood element are hard-working, goal-oriented, confident, diplomatic, and possess leadership skills. They nurture their life’s desires with consistency, attention, and motivation. They often have many projects going on, but too much work can leave them feeling overworked, burnt out, and prone to depression.

Physically a wood-type person will have strong muscles (sinews in Chinese medicine), broad shoulders, and stand tall with a straight spine. Their hair, skin, and nails are full and lustrous, when not plagued by disharmony. Full eyebrows resemble a strong liver. 

The wood type person is active both physically and mentally. They like to exercise and stretch regularly. They likely played sports as a young child. 

Similar to a tree’s stable trunk, those with a wood personality are strong in their foundation, and rooted in their beliefs, principles, values, and morals. They are often flexible and easy-going like branches flowing in the wind.

In Spring we often have higher winds than any other season. Wind facilities change and offers flexibility in movement, thinking, and decision making. When the wind is stuck or stagnated between a narrow corridor, we too may feel stuck, stagnated, or unstable. When the wind is flowing with ease, we too may feel at ease.

This characteristic of wind translates to Chinese physiology by granting the Liver with the ability to smooth and stagnate the flow of Qi and energy in the body. When our Qi and energy are smooth, we flow and move with grace and ease. When the Qi is stagnated, we may feel tense, angry, frustrated, irritable or stubborn. 

Qi that has been stagnated for long periods can build up to create abnormal growths in the body like swellings and chronic pain. 

In nature, the wood energy is resembled by growth and expansion. In life, this element aids us in carrying out our plans, ideas, and creations. It takes us from where we are now to where we want to go. 

It is a wood boat that we ride while floating down the river of life.

Do you see yourself in the wood element?


the wood element within tHE SPRING SEASON

The wood element is represented by the color green. The green color is all around us in Spring. It also supports us while we move through the season. 

Now is the time to eat your green fruits and vegetables. 

Perhaps consider bringing the color green into your wardrobe or plants into your home. 

Those who find themselves green with envy, anger or frustration may want to consider softening this emotion during spring.

It is the Liver and Gallbladder that are represented by the Wood element and Spring season. This is due to the renewal and purification process that the liver and gallbladder process.

Similar to Western physiology, eastern physiology knows that the liver stores, filters, and regulates the blood supply, produces proteins, metabolizes hormones, and rids the blood of anything that is not useful.

While spring rains wash away winter’s dust and water new life, the wood spring season tells us that it is the time to purify, eat less, drink plenty of water, get some sun and nurture your life creations!

Spring's wood energy and personality characteristics

Element: Wood

Color: Green
Flavor: Sour
Season: Spring
Body: Eyes, tendons, ligaments
Organ: Liver & Gallbladder
Emotion: Anger, hate, kindness, compassion

Personality Characteristics

Persistent, attentive and motivated


Confidence, diplomatic, leader

Strong, stable, flexible, easy-going

Tall, straight spine, strong shoulders, hair, nails

Likes movement and exercise

Want to know more about why the sour flavor is good for the liver?

Read my post, Why You Need the Sour Flavor

Need to release liver’s anger? Check out my video to Release Anger with Me,

Give your liver the food it loves! Learn more about my liver renewal each spring. Click here to learn more about Renew your Liver with me.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.