five elements, also called "Wu Xing" represent the processes
that are fundamental to the cycles of nature, and therefore correspond
to the human body.
chinese term "xing" means the process of one thing acting
upon another. In relation to the five elements, the cycle of processes
can be represented as:
creates ashes which form earth
the earth, metal which is heated liquifies and produces water vapor
generated then nourishes the trees, or wood
five elements, their characteristics, and their inter-relationships
with the body can be defined as:
ascending, light and energy as embodied in the TCM functions of the
heart (yin) and small intestine (yang). The fire element also affects
the complementary organ processes of the pericardium (yin) and the
triple warmer, which is representative of the upper, lower, and middle
parts of the body, as well as the circulation of fluids in these areas
(yang). Joy (overindulgence) is the emotion which creates imbalance
within this element.
fertile, growth. The earth element relates to the stomach (yang) and
the spleen (yin). The stomach begins the process of digestive breakdown,
while the spleen transforms and transports the energy from food and
drink throughout the body. Pensiveness is the emotion which creates
imbalance within this element.
a conductor, this element includes the lungs (yin), which move vital
energy throughout the body, and the large intestine (yang), which is
responsible for receiving and discharging waste. Sadness, or grieving
is the emotion which creates imbalance within this element.
descending, flowing. The water element represents the urinary bladder
(yang), and the kidney (yin). The bladder receives, stores, and excretes
urine. Water metabolism dissipates fluids throughout the body, moistening
it, then accumulating in the kidneys. The kidneys also store the essence,
and serve as the root of yin and yang for the entire body. Fear and
paranoia are the emotions which create imbalance within this element.
rooted. The wood element represents the liver (yin), and the gall bladder
(yang). The liver stores blood, and regulates the smooth flow of chi.
The gallbladder is responsible for storing and excreting bile. Anger
is the emotion that creates imbalance within the liver, while indecisiveness
is relative to the gallbladder.