5 Elements

The Five Elements, showing the Cycle of Creation (outer arrows),and the Cycle of Destruction (inner arrows).

Define the Five Elements and their associations

The 5 elements is a bit of a misnomer, it would be better called the 5 phases cycle, as the wu xing is often translated. The 5 elements -water, wood, fire, earth and metal each have a profound effect on one another, either creative or destructive, eg: water nurtures wood, wood nurtures fire, fire creates earth, earth creates metal metal condenses water – this is the creative cycle. The destructive cycle- wood penetrates and destroys earth, earth absorbs and destroys water, water puts out fire, fire melts metal, and metal chops wood.

In essence these elements are a study of relationships and influence in nature, and how they are reflected in the human body-they have a profound effect on health in that they are reflected in the various organ meridians(see my list above- elemental associations) and this cycle of nurturing or controlling(creating or destroying) is used in TCM

Elemental Associations:

Earth

Late summer (Indian summer),Balanced, rounded, yellow, sympathy, nourishment, introspection, and the home. Organs –stomach and spleen. sweet flavor,

Metal

Autumn, white, structure, communication, harvest, grief, the afternoon, bringing in and letting go organs- Lungs and large intestine. Dry,worry, nose, hair,skin. Pungent/spicy

Water

Winter, black ,night, emotions, body fluids, fear ,cold ,conserving resources, organs-kidneys and bladder.Salty

Wood

Springtime, green, birth, morning, developing goals, will power, anger, organs –liver and gall bladder.sour taste

Fire:

Summer, Red color. joy, laughter, vitality, growth, ,: organs –heart, small intestine, pericardium, triple warmer. bitter flavor

Meridian relation to 5 elements:

The 12 organ meridians.

  1. Heart Organ meridian :

Partner: Small intestine

Elemental association: Color red, Heu sound, Joy ,Shock-Orderliness and peace emotions, Fire, Summer.

–facilitates versatility of spiritual faculties, unites and coordinates all meridians, governs the Shen! –associated with depth of communication, speech and the thyroid.

2. Small Intestine Organ meridian

Partner: heart

Elemental association: Color red, Heu sound, Joy ,Shock-Orderliness and peace emotions, Fire, Summer.

3. Spleen/pancreas Organ meridian

Partner: Stomach

Elemental association: Color yellow, Hoo sound, Pensiveness-empathy Trust emotions, Earth,Late Summer.

(affinities to unifying -blood &unify chi of food and air- thus important for vitality)

4. Stomach Organ meridian

Partner: Spleen

Elemental association: Color yellow, Hoo sound, Pensiveness-empathy Trust emotions, Earth,Late Summer.

(Everything taken in(processed sights sounds smells etc- passes through this organ meridian, not just food!)

5. Lung Organ meridian

Partner: Large Intestine

Elemental association: Color white, Seeahh sound, anxiety-sorrow-courage emotions, Metal, Autumn.

6. Large intestine Organ meridian

Partner: Lung

Elemental association: Color white, Seeahh sound, anxiety-sorrow-courage emotions, Metal, Autumn.

7. Kidney Organ meridian

Partner: Bladder

Elemental association: Color dark blue/black, chroee sound, Fear –Wisdom emotions, Water, Winter.

8. Bladder Organ meridian

Partner: Kidney

Elemental association: Color dark blue/black, chroee sound, Fear –Wisdom emotions, Water, Winter.

9. Liver Organ meridian

Partner: gall bladder

Elemental association: Color green, shhhu sound, Anger-kindness emotions, Wood, Spring.

10. Gall bladder Organ meridian

Partner: Liver

Elemental association: Color green, shhhu sound, Anger-kindness emotions, Wood, Spring.

11. Pericardium(circulation/sex) Organ meridian

Partner: triple warmer

Elemental association: Color red, Heu sound, Joy happiness, Shock-Orderliness and peace emotions, Fire, Summer.

12. Triple warmer Organ meridian

Partner: pericardium

Elemental association: Color red, Heu sound, Joy happiness ,Shock-Orderliness and peace emotions, Fire, Summer.