This is why as practitioners we should do all that we can to find out what our own element is, recognize its qualities, make allowances for its weaknesses, and take all these factors into account when dealing with our patients. This is not an easy task, because we all have a tendency to think that the fault in some uneasy relationships with our patients lies in them not in us. It is good to remind ourselves at intervals that this is not so. Often it is the balance of the elements within us, particularly that of our guardian element, which is shaping our relationship to our patient, and perhaps distorting it in some way we are failing to recognize.
I was doing some cooking a few days ago, and poured the cooked spaghetti through a sieve to drain it. As I was doing this, the thought came to me that each element, like my spaghetti, needs a filter through which life is sieved. I only have one kitchen sieve, but each element has its own, with its own particular mesh allowing only certain things through.
When our energies become unbalanced, some of these meshes become blocked and can no longer filter what they should. Viewed in this way, treatment for the energy blocks with which any five element practitioner is familiar, such as those for a Husband/Wife imbalance or Entry/Exit blocks, can be seen as shaking the sieve in different ways to allow it to filter what has been blocking it.
I think the concept of the elements as sieves with different-sized meshes is a further rather neat illustration to help me understand what I do.