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  • Writer's pictureTherese Poon

What is Love in Chinese Medicine?

Updated: May 27, 2020

What does Valentine’s day mean for you? Is it just another hallmark holiday the makes people overspend on obligatory gifts… or maybe it’s a reminder to share the love with those special people around you?

Interestingly, it’s a rare topic discussed in Chinese Medicine as we’re usually defining pathologies like heart attack, insomnia, common colds or tennis elbows. But on a sappy note, here is a look at that warm and squishy feeling called love from a Chinese medicine perspective;

  • Family love… The love you share for your family is often considered a tribal love or group love. Everyone feels it or experiences it differently, but on a basic and general level it’s felt not just in the heart but in the gut and the feet as well. Tribal love brings about feelings of devotion, defense and protection, and a loyal type of love where you can love those in your family no matter what and without question. This is often described as a ‘Metal Element’ characteristic. Family Love is also a nourishing type of love, where you are there to protect but also to support, nurture and nourish. It brings about those instincts of wanting to feed and provide for your loved ones. In Chinese Medicine we often see this as an ‘Earth Element’ type of love.

  • Global Love… This is the unseen ‘person’ type of love. A sense of wonderment, care and adoration for the world around us and the life we live in a community. This is often stirred up in people who have a hankering for ‘saving the planet’ that we see a lot in eco-warriors and ethical consumerism. Gretha Thunburg being the most notable person along these lines of late. This is a Love stemming from strong morals and ethical standpoint and is often considered a ‘Wood Element’ type of love.

  • Romantic Love… The most common and traditional view when we hear the word love, is romantic love between couples. The idea of one person loving another and choosing to be with that person on a very intimate level. It’s certainly the one most ‘celebrated’ during valentine’s day. Romantic Love is that spark you feel about another person that spurs a feeling of breaking down your personal barriers and sharing your intimate self with that person. Also that closeness can churn in you that sense of creating more life together (i.e. making babies) and this in Chinese Medicine is considered tapping into the ‘Water Element’ which has everything to do with creating and preserving life.

  • Self Love… Self love is often an overlooked love, or an overshadowed love. One that in our society commonly gets mistaken for egotism. The strength and importance of self love, is the ability to know yourself to the core. The truly know who you are, why you’re here, what you’re capable of as well as what you’re here to work on improving. This can often fall under the banner of the ‘Metal Element’ as a source of clarity and sense of self.

ALL LOVE in Chinese medicine is ultimately considered under the umbrella of the ‘Fire Element’. The fire element represents love, empathy, compassion, connection and care. It’s linked to joy and happiness (or lack thereof) and to the ‘Heart Qi’. It’s even in our language when we talk about having a ‘heart to heart’ conversation with someone we’re describing a deep connection, usually with a sense of compassion or empathy for that person during that conversation.

If I’ve sparked your curiosity about all these ‘elements’ listed above… stay tuned as I will write a little more about each of the five elements in Chinese medicine in future blogs. If you can’t wait that long, feel free to google Five Elements in Chinese Medicine and you’ll find a rabbit hole of information you can peruse online. It’s a fun rabbit hole to journey down.

How about gifting your special one a session of Chinese Medicine Acupuncture or Chinese Cupping Therapy if in Melbourne? Balance Point Acupuncture has Certified Chinese Medicine Practitioners who can make your special day into a relaxing one where you can enjoy the day with immaculate benefits of some very traditional practices.

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