Five Element

 

 

Chinese five elements theory refers to the five element of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This theory can be used to describe the movement and the relationship between different elements and phenomena in nature.

 

 

Basic five elements characteristics and classifications 

Element

Yin/Yang
Organs

Colors

Flavors

Sense Organs

Emotions

Body
Parts

Climate

wood

liver/GB

green

sour

eyes

anger

tendons

wind

fire

heart/SI

red

bitter

tongue

joy

pulse

heat

earth

spleen/
stomach

yellow

sweet

mouth

pensiveness

muscles

dampness

metal

lung/LI

white

pungent

nose

sadness

skin

dryness

water

kidney/UB

black

salty

ears

fear

bones

cold

 The Cycles

Promoting

Controlling

wood promotes fire

wood controls earth

fire promotes earth

earth controls water

earth promotes metal

water controls fire

metal promotes water

fire controls metal

water promotes wood

metal controls wood

 

 

Promoting Cycle

This cycle is explained most easily by a simple metaphor. The relationship is the same as a mother and child relationship, where the child is dependent upon the mother for nourishment and therefore growth and well-being.

 

Controlling Cycle

To understand the relationship of the controlling cycle, we must look more closely at the origin of the five element theory in China where the responsibility of disciplining the children rested with the grandparents. The controlling cycle describes the relationship of a grandmother disciplining a grandchild.

 

Over-controlling and Counteracting

Over-controlling means that an element is too strong/hyperactive and is controlling the other element too much. A common condition in which the wood element controls earth too much (or overacts) will manifest itself with symptoms of hyper wood as well as hypo earth, sometimes making the deficient-earth element even more deficient. Counteracting is the reverse situation--a controlled element is rebelling against its controlling element.

 

Diagnosis According to Five Element Theory

The colors, emotions, flavors, senses, climates, body parts, and organs are all related. Through viewing the human body in this way, we can determine internal disharmony. For example, if a patient has a green hue to his complexion, a sour taste in his mouth, and his eyes are bothersome to him in some way, we would look more closely at the Wood element (Liver and Gallbladder).