Metal Element

Metal Element Personality in Chinese Medicine

metal element

Metal Personality In Balance

You are a person of great integrity. You remain aloof in relationships, but everyone knows where they stand with you. You are correct and fair with everyone. You have no place for disorder and conflict in your life; you prefer structure and control. You are typically an expert in your field and seek perfection. You are able to think logically and act with methodical efficiency. 

Metal Element is all about refinement and self-esteem

Metal is of late autumn, when leaves fall to the earth to be recycled into rich humus. In your life, the power of the Metal Element allows you to efficiently let go of what is not necessary, and store only what is needed for winter. Autumn is also a time of reflection on the progress made through the seasons, and a time to be thankful for an abundant harvest. It is also a time to decide what is needed to be stored for the oncoming winter, and what should be discarded.

Metal Personality Out of Balance

If the Metal Element is out of balance, or is blocked from fully expressing itself, you may lack the qualities above, or have lost them over time as the imbalance has grown more severe. Integrity turns to hypocrisy; fair relationships bend to authoritative punishments; structure turns to rigidity; perfection seeking leads to disappointment; logic turns to self-doubt. One who is passing through middle age in to their elder years may have issues with letting go of past life disappointments or losses leading to grief or obsessively reminisce about the 'good 'ole days'. Aging also requires the ability to accept change and release obsolete expectations and motivations.

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Acupressure for Metal Element Imbalancesessential oils for acupressure

Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Activate Acupressure Point Lung 1
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Lung 7
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Lung 9
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Lung 10
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Large Intestine 4
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Large Intestine 10
Apply the Metal Element Acupressure Stick to Acupressure Point Large Intestine 11

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Symptoms of Metal Element Imbalance

In Chinese medicine, as in reality, there is no way to separate the mind and the body; by treating the Lungs, according to TCM, you correct emotional imbalances associated with Metal Element; likewise, by addressing emotional issues associated with Metal Element, you treat the Lung energetic organ system according to Chinese medicine.

The Yang organ associated with the Metal Element is the Large Intestine and correlations of the inability to 'let go' are quite apparent. Additionally, the skin is correlated with the Lung energetic system in Chinese medicine. Many of the symptoms listed below will often worsen in the late fall including breathing difficulties, skin problems, and digestive disorders.

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Physical Symptoms of Metal Element ImbalanceLung Qi organic herb tonic

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Metal Imbalance Emotional Symptomsgrief essential oils-acupressure DIY kit

  • Grief
  • Unresolved loss
  • Sadness
  • Low self esteem
  • Loss of personal boundaries
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Issues with letting go
  • Perfectionist
  • Self-righteous
  • Dogmatic religious beliefs
  • Prejudiced
  • Problems with authority
  • Problems with intimacy
  • Lack of spiritual belief
  • PTSD

The Metal Element is related to our self-worth and our fortitude against the outside world in the form of personal boundaries; PTSD associated with Metal Element imbalances occurs when someone's personal boundaries have been assaulted by assault, war, or an environmental disaster.

The Metal Element is also related to our ability to bond with others, and that loss of an established personal bond would lead to grief. Many scientific studies have been performed that relate an adults' inability to create personal bonds to being abandoned during infancy or childhood. 



Winston, R., & Chicot, R. (2016). The importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children. London journal of primary care8(1), 12–14.

Kwon CY, Lee B, Kim SH. Effectiveness and safety of ear acupuncture for trauma-related mental disorders after large-scale disasters: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(8):e19342. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000019342

Kim, Y. D., Heo, I., Shin, B. C., Crawford, C., Kang, H. W., & Lim, J. H. (2013). Acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and prospective clinical trials. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2013, 615857.

Huang W, Johnson TM, Kutner NG, et al. Acupuncture for Treatment of Persistent Disturbed Sleep: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Veterans With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2018;80(1):18m12235. Published 2018 Dec 11. doi:10.4088/JCP.18m12235

Jennifer L. Strauss, PhD, Ariel J. Lang, PhD, & Paula P. Schnurr, PhD. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for PTSD. ( retrieved 4/2020)


Dr. Browne's Shared Insights and Experiences

I spent several years treating veterans with PTSD and pain at my own clinic, a research hospital, and two VA hospitals. I recall one such veteran came in with pain in her hip radiating down her leg and into her foot. As I spoke with her it became clear that she had a classic Metal Element personality as she authoritatively explained to me what tendons and muscles I needed to treat. Other clues emerged when she spoke of her ongoing feeling of sadness related to her mothers' death four years previous; this stern woman actually began to cry when she spoke of her mother.

Someone with a Metal Element personality often has a difficult time resolving grief appropriately. Four years is an unusually long a period to grieve so I did the acu-points for grief along with her pain treatment for sciatica. The sciatica took quite a number of treatments to resolve but each time she came to the office I asked about her mother; she acted as if it the loss had never been an issue. It appeared that she did not associate her emotional balancing with the treatments. You see, Metal Element types have a rigid system of belief and she did not believe that acupuncture worked for emotional balancing. After about 10 treatments she started commenting on how calm she was after treatment and began to accept that the Chinese medicine was indeed impacting her psyche in a positive way.