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Pet Welleness Through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): A Holistic Balancing Act

Updated: Jan 15

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM ) has been used for millennia by people. Animals were also treated with this medicine, early on acupuncture charts have been recovered that had the points used for horses. Very important in China and used as war horses . TCM has also been used to treat birds, farm animals and more recently dogs and cats in China. Which element most closely describes your pet? Knowing this can be useful in preventing disease and maintaining health. In the case of imbalances present, it is helpful in the treatment to restore balance in the body and emotions.

Five TCM Elements
Five Elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The 5 element theory includes: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

We are all made up of all of these elements. They are arranged in a circle because what affects one that is out of balance can affect another. Everything is connected. To be in optimal health and balance one has to look at the whole picture . Balance can be achieved in many cases with diet, herbs, acupressure, massage, lifestyle changes and energy. Stronger western medicine drugs and not needed in many cases or a lower dose. Each case is different. We tend to be one element more dominantly expressed over another and that can change as one changes in age seasons.


If out of balance an example might be a pet with separation anxiety, or a very exuberant pet, one that pushes the owner's hand to be petted. Likes to be the center of attention.

Season : Summer

Color: Red

Organs : Heart, pericardium, small intestine, triple heater

Imbalance : Mania, overly exuberant

In balance : Joyful

Taste: Bitter

Foods to help balance :Barley, millet, spinach, tofu

Age Seasons: Teenager to 20's

Diseases : Heart disease, small intestine disease, anxiety disorder

Sound: Laughter

Time of Day : 11:00 AM-1PM and 7-11:00 PM

Sensory Organ : Tongue touch/speech

Secretions : Perspiration

Area ot Tongue : Tip

Body Action: Mania, overly excited

Earth :

When out of balance an example of this would be an overweight pet that worries a lot. When in balance is very sweet natured and gets along well with the other pets

Season: Late Summer

Color: Yellow

Organs : Stomach, spleen/pancreas

Body type : prone to overweight

Imbalanced : Worry

Balance : Friendly

Foods to help Balance : Sweet Potato, lentil, apricot, orange, barley

Age Seasons : Late 20's to 30's in humans

Taste : Sweet

Diseases : Pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, stomach problems, lipomas,

Sound : singing

Sensory organ : Mouth /taste

Time of Day: 7AM-11:00 AM

secretion : Saliva

Tissue : Muscles

Area of tongue: Center

Body Action : Spit of vomit

Metal :

An example would be a very dependable, organized obedient animal when in balance. Out of balance very aloof, may only be connected to one person, may be experiencing grief. May have a runny nose more in the fall.

Season : Fall

Color : white

Organs : Lung large /intestine

Body type: Average weight

Imbalance : Grief or sadness

Balanced : Obedient and dependable

Taste: Pungent, spicey

Foods to help balance : cinnamon, ginger, kale, radish

Ages season: retirement , empty nest

Diseases : Bronchitis, asthma constipation

Sound :Weeping

Time 3:00 AM-7:00 AM

Sensory organ : Nose, lungs

Secretions: Nasal mucus

Area of tongue : Mid tip

Body Action : Cough, wheeze

Water :

An example would be an older pet towards the end of its life. When out of balance an example would be an animal prone to the fear emotion. They may be constantly thirsty and crave salt and may see urinary bladder problems more in the winter.

Season: Winter

Color :Black/ blue

Organs : Kidney/urinary bladder

Imbalanced : Overly Fearful


Foods to help balance : Salty foods, kidney beans, pork, peas, barley

Ages /Season: Old age

Diseases : Kidney disease, bladder problems

Sound : Groaning

Time: 3:00PM-7:00PM

Sensory organ: Ears ( hearing)

Secretions : Urine

Area of Tongue: back of the tongue

Body action: Trembling, shivering


An example of a wood when in balance would be a pet that is a confident leader. Out of balance an overly aggressive pet to humans and/or other animals. Food possessive, or toy possessive, and might have liver problems.

Season :Spring

Color : Green

Organs : Liver /Gallbladder

Imbalanced : Overly aggressive or possessive

Taste: sour

Foods to Balance: sour foods, cooked greens

Ages/ Season:puberty

Diseases :Problems with tendons and ligaments,liver / gallbladder disease



Sensory organ:

Taste : sour

Secretions: tears

Area of tongue:sides

Body action: tantrum, spasm

Learn more and book a consultation with us today!

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