The 5 Elements of TCM

Chinese philosophy identifies 5 different ways that Qi manifests itself in the universe as the five elements. They are:

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Wood
  • Earth and
  • Metal

As with all things in the universe, the human body is influenced by the energies of these five elements. Any imbalances in the energies of one element will show in the organs and meridians dominated by that element.

Each element is also associated with an emotion, a body part, a body outlet, a sense, a flavour, a sensation and a Season.

The arrows pointing in a clockwise direction show how the elements interact with each other. Fire produces ashes to become Earth. Earth produces metal as ore. When metal is heated it becomes fluid (like water). Water allows wood to grow. Wood produces fire when burned.

The arrows in the very center of the diagram show a control cycle of the elements. Too much of one element may lead to a weakening of the corresponding one.

The 5 Elements of TCM

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