5 Element Questionnaire

5 Element Questionnaire

Everything becomes spontaneously what it should rightly be, for in the law of heaven life has an inner light that it must involuntarily obey. The I Ching

Which of the Five Elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water - surges most strongly within you? Are you most like the supple birch tree bending in the wind, the sun setting crimson behind a bank of clouds, the fertile fields that nourish and provide for all living things, the snow-capped mountain reaching toward the heavens, or the rushing river flowing to the sea?

The following questionnaire will help you determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of your affinities to the Five Elements. In Section One you'll find a list of physical characteristics and symptoms, while Section Two describes psychological inclinations and behavioural tendencies.

Put a check mark next to each statement that accurately describes your present-day condition or a predictable pattern you have experienced in the past. Because an affinity to a particular element or an imbalance within that element may be expressed in a wide range of sometimes opposing symptoms, some of the statements in Section Two contain contradictory phrases, as in I enjoy (or dread) public speaking. If either alternative accurately describes you, place a check next to the statement. After finishing the questionnaire, you'll learn what your responses indicate about your affinities to Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal.

Physical Characteristics

  1. Muscular, athletic physique with well-proportioned hands, arms, legs, and head. Thick, somewhat coarse skin. Jaw and chin dominate the face.
  2. Fingernails and toenails tend to split, peel, and crack easily.
  3. Oily skin, especially around the face, nose, and scalp.
  4. A subtle greenish hue around the eyes and mouth.
  5. High-pitched ringing in the ears.
  6. Blurred vision.
  7. Dry, red, itchy, or teary eyes.
  8. Chronic headaches, particularly around the temples; migraine headaches.
  9. Difficulty swallowing, especially when tense.
  10. Sudden, sharp, migrating pains in the eyes, ears, nose, throat, genitals, armpits, or between the ribs.
  11. Chronic tension in the neck and/or shoulders.
  12. Menstrual problems: strong painful cramps, erratic cycles, PMS with irritability and mood swings.
  13. Cramps or twitches in the muscles of the eyes, face, calves, or feet.
  14. Abdominal pains.
  15. Spinal aches or pains.
  16. Sciatica (radiating pain from the lower back down the leg).
  17. Tendency to develop muscle and tendon injuries.
  18. Digestive disturbances: heartburn, constipation, or ulcers.
  19. High blood pressure.
  20. Cysts and lumps (sebaceous cysts, breast lumps, endometrial cysts).
  1. Graceful, willowy physique. Soft, warm skin. Long neck, hands, and fingers. Delicate features. Eyes tend to dominate the face.
  2. Bright red, often blotchy complexion or noticeable lack of colour (ashen complexion).
  3. Tendency to blush, particularly when nervous or upset.
  4. Feelings of being cold and chilled; hands and feet feel chronically cold.
  5. Spontaneous sweating, hot flashes, tendency to overheat.
  6. Difficulties with perspiration: a tendency either to perspire too easily or to have difficulty perspiring.
  7. Shallow breathing; a tendency to hold the breath.
  8. Dizziness and fainting spells.
  9. Skin eruptions-acne, pimples, boils, rashes-that feel "hot" or inflamed.
  10. Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, thrombosis, or phlebitis (problems involving the veins and arteries).
  11. Heartburn.
  12. Diverticulitis (inflammation of the colon).
  13. Rapid or irregular heartbeat; erratic pulse.
  14. Heart palpitations, especially when excited or stressed.
  15. Frequent urinary infections.
  16. Sleep disturbances: insomnia, often intensified by excitement or anxiety; vivid or disturbing dreams; restless sleep.
  17. Problems with the tongue: sores, inflammation, redness, or swelling.
  18. Speech problems, especially stammering or stuttering; also slurring words or habitually speaking too quickly.
  19. Seizures.
  20. Strokes.
  1. Rounded physique with broad hips and shoulders. Soft, smooth skin. Short, stubby hands and feet. Mouth and lips predominate the face.
  2. Yellowish hue around mouth or temples.
  3. Thick mucus in mouth, nose, and throat.
  4. Swollen, sore, or bleeding gums.
  5. Frontal headaches, usually connected with worrying.
  6. Tendency to water retention; skin feels soft and puffy to the touch.
  7. Nails and cuticles easily inflamed, misshapen, and tear easily.
  8. Excessive belching or burping.
  9. Gain weight easily; find it difficult to lose weight.
  10. Craving (or intense dislike of) sweets and starchy foods (refined carbohydrates).
  11. Anorexia or bulimia.
  12. Obesity.
  13. Digestive problems: indigestion, abdominal pain, excess stomach acid.
  14. Ulcers.
  15. Blood sugar disturbances: hypoglycemia, diabetes.
  16. Thyroid problems (especially hypothyroidism or deficient thyroid).
  17. Menstrual problems: irregular periods, lethargic with periods, bloating.
  18. Fibroid tumours.
  19. Haemorrhoids.
  20. Varicose veins.
  1. Symmetrical physique with long arms and legs and narrow shoulders. Small bones. Chiselled or delicate features. Nose predominates the face.
  2. Dry, itchy skin with tendency to wrinkle prematurely.
  3. Dry hair: ends split easily, hair lacks lustre.
  4. Dry, irritated throat and nasal passages.
  5. Dry, scaly pimples, especially on the cheeks, beside the nose, or on the upper back.
  6. Difficulty perspiring even when hot.
  7. Nasal polyps.
  8. Sinus problems: congested nose or sinuses, sinus headaches, chronic sinus infections.
  9. Hay fever and other allergies, including food allergies or sensitivities.
  10. Rashes or hives.
  11. Chronic bronchitis.
  12. Asthma, especially allergy-induced asthma.
  13. Enlarged or hard lymph nodes, especially along the sides of the neck or under the jaw.
  14. Numerous moles or warts.
  15. Frequent sneezing or coughing due to changes in air temperature or pressure.
  16. Bowel disturbances: diarrhoea, constipation, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
  17. Spine and joint problems: inflexibility, stiff posture, chronic joint pain.
  18. Sensitivity to climate changes, particularly to humid and excessively dry climates.
  19. Eczema.
  20. Psoriasis.
  1. Lean physique with narrow shoulder s and wider hips. Long fingers and toes. Sculptured features. Deep -set eyes. Ears tend to predominate the face.
  2. Darkish hue around or under the eyes.
  3. Hearing problems : loss of hearing, tinnitus (ringing in ears).
  4. Ear aches and pains; tendency to get ear infections.
  5. Teeth problems such as multiple cavities or bone loss, weakening teeth.
  6. Hair falls out easily, thinning hair, loss of head or pubic hair.
  7. Sore aching feet (especially the soles of the feet).
  8. Excessive thirst, often feel parched or dry.
  9. Urinary problems: frequent need to urinate, difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections.
  10. Tendency to vaginitis or yeast infections.
  11. Swelling and bloating due to water retention.
  12. Aching and pain in lower back region.
  13. Aching in lower part of the abdomen; lower abdomen often feels cold to the touch.
  14. Pain and stiffness in the joints, particularly in the knees; pain tends to get worse in winter.
  15. Brittle joints.
  16. Instability of the spinal column; a tendency to "throw your back out".
  17. Osteoporosis or other problems involving degeneration of bone.
  18. Prostatic problems: benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement or swelling of the prostate gland), prostate infections.
  19. High blood pressure (hyper tension).
  20. Illness or symptoms worse in winter or in very cold climates.

Psychological / Behavioural Characteristics

  1. I tend to feel confident about my abilities.
  2. I tend to do what I feel is right, regardless of what other's might think.
  3. I enjoy competition; my friends often describe me as competitive.
  4. I feel compelled to win, sometimes at any cost.
  5. I am comfortable in conflict situations or under pressure.
  6. I can be bull-headed and stubborn.
  7. I like to take the lead and direct others in activities or work.
  8. I like to think of creative solutions to difficult problems.
  9. I tend to make hasty, irrational decisions (or I find it difficult to make decisions).
  10. I am willing to stick with a plan of action even if the odds are not in my favour.
  11. I can be impulsive and feel a strong need to satisfy my impulses.
  12. I am typically direct and straightforward in my dealings with others.
  13. I can be insensitive, plowing ahead without paying attention to other people's needs.
  14. I tend to be critical of others and find it difficult to understand why they don't accomplish as much as I do.
  15. I enjoy public recognition of my talents and achievements.
  16. I tend to act boldly and decisively, even when I may not have all the expertise or information I need.
  17. I tend to speak force fully and at times shout my words.
  18. I like to take risks.
  19. I am a workaholic.
  20. I am a procrastinator.
  21. I enjoy public speaking.
  22. When things don't go my way, I often feel off balance, uprooted, stuck, or unable to move.
  23. My characteristic response to difficult situations is to get angry; I sometimes have trouble controlling my anger.
  24. My greatest fears involve loss of control: being helpless, being confined, being stuck or unable to move.
  25. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for sour foods (vinegar, lemons, limes).
  26. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the colour green.
  27. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for very windy conditions.
  28. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the season of spring.
  29. My dreams often involve images of forests, growing plants, competition, I am comfortable in conflict situations or under pressure.
  30. I can be bull-headed and stubborn.
  31. I like to take the lead and direct others in activities or work.
  32. I often feel restless or have difficulty sleeping between the hours of 11 P.M. and 3 A.M.
  1. I am empathic and can easily identify with other people's pleasure or pain.
  2. I intuitively know what other people are thinking or feeling.
  3. I am easily affected by other people's responses or opinions of me.
  4. I tend to be animated, enthusiastic, and full of excitement about life.
  5. I enjoy all my senses and love sensual pleasures.
  6. I sometimes laugh too loud, too much, or at inappropriate times.
  7. I enjoy physical contact and emotional intimacy.
  8. I tend to thrive (or fall apart) in a stimulating environment: a big city, noisy office, etc..
  9. I like to live in the moment, letting bygones be bygones.
  10. I am often thought of as eternally optimistic, even when others try to dampen my enthusiasm.
  11. I'm considered magnetic or charismatic; other people seem to be drawn to me.
  12. I would find it difficult to live without laughter or joy in my life.
  13. I enjoy (or dread) public speaking and public recognition.
  14. I have difficulty containing my emotions and tend to wear them on my sleeve.
  15. I am uncomfortable with conflicting emotions or desires.
  16. I often feel anxious and afraid for no apparent reason.
  17. I can be scatterbrained and absentminded.
  18. I find it difficult to say no.
  19. I dread rejection, which makes me feel cut off from others.
  20. I need a lot of support or praise; I tend to doubt myself.
  21. I tend to be vulnerable, especially in relationships.
  22. Communication is very important to me, and I work hard to communicate honestly and directly with people.
  23. My characteristic response to difficult situations is to get overly excited, flustered, and emotional.
  24. My greatest fears involve being alone or abandoned.
  25. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for bitter foods (bitter greens, coffee without sugar).
  26. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the colour red.
  27. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for very hot climates.
  28. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the season of summer.
  29. My dreams often involve images of romantic relationships, sexual encounters.
  30. My energy is either extremely high or totally depleted between the hours of 11 A.M. and 3 P.M.
  1. I tend to be nurturing; I enjoy taking care of others.
  2. I tend to be a mediator and peacemaker; I like to solve problems and help other s reconcile theirs.
  3. I become easily upset or unsettled with conflict or discord.
  4. I value loyalty and commitment and expect my friends and family to do the same.
  5. I am extremely adaptable and easily mould myself to different situations.
  6. When I am with different people, I can be a different person.
  7. I find it easy to be with people I don't know well.
  8. I don't need a lot of stimulation to be happy; just being with my family and friends is enough.
  9. I thrive on peaceful settings, tranquil surroundings, and natural beauty.
  10. I often feel too needy; I particularly need to know that I am needed.
  11. I often feel left out, as if people were making plans without me.
  12. I often have difficulty asking for what I need.
  13. I have difficulty being alone.
  14. I need stability in my life.
  15. I tend to put the needs of others before my own.
  16. I easily get overly involved in other people's problems.
  17. I like being the centre of my social network.
  18. I tend to eat when I feel lonely or uncomfortable.
  19. I like the feeling of being "full" with food, friends, social engagements, and work, but I sometimes feel weighted down or overstuffed.
  20. I tend to set unrealistic expectations and often feel disappointed in the way things turn out.
  21. I tend to worry or obsess about problems.
  22. I have obsessive / compulsive tendencies.
  23. My characteristic response to difficult situations is to worry about the outcome or to interfere, hoping to change the outcome.
  24. My greatest fears involve being lost, alone, or far from home.
  25. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for sweets.
  26. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the colour yellow.
  27. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for very damp climates.
  28. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for late summer (Indian summer).
  29. My dreams often involve images of houses, backyards, and grassy fields.
  30. My energy is either extremely high or totally depleted between the hours of 7 P.M. and 11 P.M.
  1. I tend to be neat and orderly in my personal appearance.
  2. I take pride in being efficient and methodical.
  3. I like making lists to create order in my life.
  4. At times I become obsessed with the need for order and organization.
  5. I am content with just a few close friends or relationships.
  6. I am bored with superficiality; I like to concentrate on quality and substance.
  7. I am immediately and powerfully affected by my environment ; junk and clutter make me extremely uncomfortable.
  8. I dislike crowds, waiting in line, traffic lights, and the like.
  9. In social situations I tend to be stiff and somewhat formal.
  10. I like to be in control; spontaneity frightens me.
  11. I sometimes fear contamination: drinking from another person's glass, using restaurant utensils, sitting on public toilet seats.
  12. I tend to be a perfectionist and can be excessively critical of myself.
  13. I restrain myself from expressing my feelings; others sometimes describe me as unemotional or unfeeling.
  14. I value organization in myself and others.
  15. I am interested in spiritual disciplines and approaches to life.
  16. I love to collect rare or beautiful objects: artwork, jewellery, books, and so on.
  17. I tend to accept what authority dictates.
  18. I feel strongly committed to certain moral principles and standards of conduct.
  19. I enjoy tasks that require logical and analytical approaches to problem solving.
  20. I enjoy doing puzzles, solving riddles, and reading good mysteries.
  21. I don't like to get caught up in other people's dramas.
  22. I feel proud of the fact that I am able to resist temptation.
  23. My characteristic response to difficult situations is to feel overwhelmed with sorrow or grief.
  24. My greatest fears involve crowds, chaos, and corruption.
  25. I have strong preference (or distaste) for pungent and spicy foods.
  26. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the colour white.
  27. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for very dry climates.
  28. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the season of autumn.
  29. My dreams often involve mountain peaks, snow, or the interiors of boats, cars, or trains.
  30. I often feel restless, agitated, or full of energy between the hours of 3 A.M. and 7 A.M.
  1. I tend to be introverted and keep my thoughts to myself.
  2. I value my solitude and need time to be alone.
  3. I deeply resent attempts to intrude on my privacy.
  4. I have few friends and avoid most social situations; as a result I often feel lonely.
  5. I tend to avoid intimate relationships.
  6. I prefer to work alone.
  7. Because I have my own thoughts and opinions, others sometimes find me eccentric.
  8. I have a tendency to be paranoid.
  9. I am patient and persevering, even when the odds are against me.
  10. I am known for my ability to be objective and impartial in most situations.
  11. I tend to be skeptical, even cynical.
  12. I find it difficult to adapt to new situations.
  13. I sometimes get deeply depressed for no apparent reason.
  14. I often wake up with feelings of dread or foreboding.
  15. I am insatiably curious and have a vivid imagination.
  16. I like to know how mechanical objects work, and I enjoy taking them apart and putting them back together again.
  17. I like to figure things out for myself; I don't like to be given the answer or solution.
  18. I am very attentive and am constantly taking things in that others don't seem to notice.
  19. I value reason, logic, and intelligence, and I enjoy all intellectual pursuits.
  20. When I'm in conflict with others, I tend to feel a sense of underlying anxiety or dread.
  21. I can be incredibly stubborn; when I know I'm right, I won't bend or compromise.
  22. I have a strong will; I stand up for myself and my beliefs, even when I'm at odds with everyone around me.
  23. My characteristic response to difficult situations is to feel a sense of dread or foreboding, imagining the worst that could happen.
  24. My greatest fears include a fear of heights, fear of water, fear of people, fear of the dark, and fear of death.
  25. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for salty foods.
  26. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the colour blue and / or black.
  27. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for very cold climates.
  28. I have a strong preference (or distaste) for the season of winter.
  29. My dreams often involve images of lakes, rivers, oceans, or dark, mysterious places (such as caves).
  30. My energy is either extremely high or totally depleted between the hours of 3 P.M. and 7 P.M.


The totals indicate which element or elements most strongly influence your physical health, emotional responses, and behavioural inclinations. Some people fall clearly into one type or another, while many others have a clear affinity to two or more elements; certain individuals (a rare minority) are strongly influenced by all five. Should One element stand out as very strong, or very weak (high total/low total), it would be beneficial to use the related exercises on the video page. Wood = Liver, Fire = Heart, Earth = Spleen, Metal = Lungs and Water = Kidneys.

Physical Psychological / Behavioural Totals

This wonderful test comes from "The Five Elements of Self-Healing" by Jason Elias and Katerine Ketcham (ISBN  0-517-70487-0)

I would personally like to thank Jason for all his help and advice.

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