The Five Elements

5_elementschinese

In life we learn that is important to seek balance.  Whether in our careers, relationships, diet, or other areas, balance is a desirable objective.  This quest is central to understanding the five Chinese Elements and how they operate in a person’s life.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five matters: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and that seeking a healthy balance between these matters is key to vitality and wellbeing. (link to article on 5 elements)

Each element has its strengths and weaknesses they can act as catalysts to produce other elements, or forces of destruction to other elements.  The key is to keep them in proper balance so that they are helpful and not harmful.  TCM can help achieve this balance through supplements that can help make up for deficiencies or can help to curtail excess.  A simple questionnaire available on our website can help to pinpoint imbalances and make suggestions for how to remedy them.

As balance is achieved, a positive or “birth” cycle emerges where each of the elements support each other.  Metal produces water, water produces wood, wood produces fire, fire produces earth, and earth produces metal.  This cycle is believed to create harmony both in the universe and in our bodies which are thought to be a replica of the universe in miniature.

The ancient beliefs on which TCM is based include the following (link here to TCM page):

  • The human body is a miniature version of the larger, surrounding universe.
  • Harmony between two opposing yet complementary forces, called yin and yang, supports health, and disease results from an imbalance between these forces.
  • Five elements—fire, earth, wood, metal, and water—symbolically represent all phenomena, including the stages of human life, and explain the functioning of the body and how it changes during disease.
  • Qi, a vital energy that flow