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Is your dominant element Water, Wood, Fire, Earth or Metal—and why does it matter? Well, according to the Five Elements, a system that arose 5,000 years ago out of the holistic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it says a lot about what happens to your mind, body, and relationships when they’re under stress. It guides you in restoring balance. Even better, the elements also examine and explain why you relate to folks at work and at home in the way you do, in hopes that with awareness you can stem conflicts and find common ground.
“Knowing your dominant element helps you understand how you operate in the world and gives you a deeper insight into your motivations and actions. It’s the lens through which you see the world, as well as the lens through which you get ill and heal,” says Lauren Walker, creator of Energy Medicine Yoga, which combines yoga sequences with the wisdom of the Five Elements (as well as eight additional energy systems in the body) learned from her teacher, renowned energy healer Donna Eden.
“It’s empowering to understand your strengths and weaknesses, so you can come in balance, health, and joy. You also gain so much compassion when you recognize that other people are operating from their own set of challenges and blessings,” says Walker.
So, ready to find out for yourself? Answer these 10 questions to identify the element that defines you