Five Elements in Life and Health

Eight Tuesday evenings 7 - 9.15pm.

23rd & 30th March
13th, 20th & 27th April
4th, 11th & 18th May

8 x 2.25 hour classes 

Normally £400, but due to current circumstances with some people struggling financially, the price has been discounted to £299.

This ancient theory on the nature of life is one of the pillars of Oriental thought, and is incredibly useful in understanding our lives, our connection to nature, and how to nourish our internal balance for greater health and happiness.

First described in the 2,500 year old Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, the Five Elements describes how all of nature moves through five different states or elements, each with its own characteristics. This can be best seen through our daily cycle with the stillness and quiet of the middle of the night of the Water element, the rising energy of the morning of the Tree element, the warmth and activity of the middle of day with the Fire element, the descending and settled energy of the afternoon Earth element, and the coming inwards movement in the evening and Metal element.

the five elements - natural landscape

Practically any aspect of nature can be seen as going through or containing these five states of change. On Earth we have the yearly cycle which goes through various seasons, which in a temperate climate are called winter, spring, summer, Indian summer or late summer, and autumn.

Within us our whole human physiology, energy movement, emotions, minds and activities also follow these five phases. We can literally choose hundreds of aspects of nature and life, and observe the five different transformations within them, to give us a greater understanding of ourselves and change.

The Aims Of This Course

• To give a deeper appreciation of our intimate connection to nature.

• How to nourish five fundamental aspects of our bodies, emotions, minds and being, to create health and a fulfilling life.

• Use the Five Element theory to understand your own symptoms, illnesses, and life difficulties, and how to heal these.

• Learn how to change your internal condition through detailed changes in diet, emotional work, and lifestyle changes.

• How to cook with specific tastes, colours, ingredients, cooking styles and seasonings to heal the imbalances in your elements to heal specific health problems.

• How to transform the emotions that keep us stuck in a particular element.

Who Is This Course For?

This course is primarily for your own use, in creating greater health, balance and freedom in your life. It will also be of great use to shiatsu therapists, qigong or tai chi teachers, emotional counsellors or psychotherapists, and other complementary health practitioners to add to your insights into clients and give you practical ways of helping them.

What Will Your Get From This Five Elements Course?

The Five Elements offers us a framework for understanding five different moods, types of energy and movement in nature and ourselves, that can be used to guide every aspect of our life.

An extensive set of course notes with full details of the nature of the Five Elements, the correspondences, healing foods and cooking styles, emotional imbalances and healing etc. This provides a lot of guidance for you to use in your daily life, or for helping others.


Cooking is one of the biggest healing activities available to us – and we cook and eat every day, so with the right understanding we can keep adjusting our food to maintain balance in our body and emotions. This is a fluid way of cooking and eating, in tune with our body’s and mind’s needs, rather than a fixed ‘one size fits all’ approach to food.

We will look in detail at how to choose ingredients, colours, flavours, seasonings and cooking styles to support and nourish each element and its organs and bodily functions. In the course notes you will receive recipes and possible menu plans to enhance each element.

Emotional Healing

We will look at the positive emotions associated with each element, which can be enhanced by nourishing each element. Also how strong emotions in our life experiences can throw a particular element out of balance, and create a negative emotional state such as depression, anxiety, worry, fear, anger or detachment.

In working with our own or other people’s emotional healing, being able to quickly identify a person’s Five Element imbalance can lead to quickly uncovering the emotions currently blocking their life energy. This can speed up an emotional counseling or psychotherapy process of exploring and releasing limiting emotions and feelings.

Physical Activity & Lifestyle

The elements represent energy in motion, so every life activity like sleeping, working, listening and talking with others, eating, taking time out for ourselves, reading or singing all nourish different elements. By adjusting our life style we can both reduce activities that are throwing our system out of balance, and increase activities that bring us into greater balance, health and completeness.

We will also be practicing Do-in exercises to strengthen each element, which you can also practice at home.

the five elements - do-in exercise

Health & Healing

This system offers deep insights into the physical, emotional and life style causes of health problems, and a road to healing them. Over the last 30 years of teaching the Five Elements, I have seen so many people at last be able to make sense of what is happening with their health and in their lives, and then be able to chart a course of healing.

So often a person with multiple health problems and symptoms find that they are all or mostly coming from the same one element imbalance, which is a revelation. Then by focusing their healing on this one element, many health problems can be alleviated, and the quality of life restored.

Taught by Oliver Cowmeadow

This course is taught by school principal Oliver Cowmeadow, who brings his 40 years of experience in using Oriental medicine and macrobiotic healing to thousands of students and clients. As well as a life long study of the Oriental approach to health, Oliver has also taken trainings in emotional counseling and psychotherapy, rebirthing, Men’s work, and past life healing. This has enabled him to create a new synthesis of western emotional healing with Oriental medicine.

Follow On Courses

The Five Elements is central to all the teachings at the International Macrobiotic School. If you would like to study this subject in more depth our Foundation Certificate course will give you hands on cooking classes specifically for each element, plus bodywork, philosophy, Oriental diagnosis and healing.

For those who want to build a career using this approach to healing, a further 2 ½ years of study and professional training on our Diploma Course will take you to giving Health Consultations, Medicinal Cooking and Shiatsu bodywork.

If after taking this Five Element course you enter a Foundation Certificate course, you will receive £300 off the course fee.

Course Payment

The fee for the course is £299. This includes 8 live 2 ½ hour internet video lessons and a full set of course notes on the lessons and on practical work for you to do at home following each video session. You will also be able to download a recording of each video lesson afterwards to watch again, or if you had to miss the live video session.

Five Elements in Life and Health - Online Course
How Did You Hear About This Course?


Refund Policy For Online Bookings

Bookings for online courses are often last minute. Please be sure that you are happy and commited to the course as we do not give refunds for online bookings.