The Chinese Five Elements

The Chinese Five Elements created by Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) practitioner’s around 3000 B.C. show a more physical nature consisting of:

Water, Earth, Fire, and replacing Air and Ether are the more tangible material elements Wood and Metal. 

The Chinese Five Elements are known as WU XING in Chinese and roughly translates into English as the five movements, the five phases or the five steps/walks/stages of change.

This model serves as a diagnostic tool basis for acupuncture, reflexology and other medical, philosophical and energetic foundations. It is the basis of all energy work. Acupuncture uses needles, and Acupressure uses hands to follow the meridians, which are energy system pathways with ancient roots in natural healing. 

The Five Elements show nature and the changing seasons, and matches it to different phases of life that everything travels through.

These principles have intricate complex associations and form dynamic relationships with one another. 

Each element associates with a variety of principles including:

body organs/ meridians, emotions, seasons, climate, sense organs, glands, taste flavours, colours, sound, senses. 

Each element carries with it a positive and a negative emotion. Everyone experiences these different emotions, which have their function and their purpose.  

All of us have a main element, rhythm or season that we resonate with and are born into, but we travel through all the cycles of seasons at various times in our lives. 

We are different elements at different times or a combination displaying productive or destructive qualities.

These seasonal, energetic, emotional states vibrate and relate to health, personality, and physical attributes even manifesting in the way we walk and talk. Use this tool to decipher what element or rhythm you are now in.

There are themes, symbols, cycles, shapes and other categories relating to each element. People and martial art styles also fit into these categories.   Cultivate what you are feeling and relate it to the elements. If you are feeling fearful it is the winter cycle and the positive emotion love and courage will help stop the fear. There are also acupressure points that when held will help filter any destructive emotions. All emotions are valid and need to be worked through. The body doesn’t see any emotion as bad only as an outlet to relieve stress. All emotions are necessary, it is healthy to grieve. Anger is a positive motivator sometimes but it is when we get stuck in a negative cycle it becomes destructive and unhealthy to ourselves and others. It is ok to be reflective, it  is how we learn, but when we reflect for too long in the past it turns to grief. Live in the present and reflect to gain wisdom. Being assertive is important to establish boundaries, but being assertive for too long without flexibility and open perception leads to anger and judgment. Kindness, flexible assertiveness and openness will help quell constant anger. 

The primary destructive emotions that follow the five seasons and elements are:

Fear/winter/water,

Anger/spring/wood,

Panic/summer/fire,

Worry/equinox/earth,

Grief/autumn/metal

The positive constructive emotions are:

Water/courage, love

Wood/assertiveness/kindness,

Fire/joy/passion,

Earth/compassion,

Metal/reflection/wisdom

from ebook Essential oils and the Five Elements

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One Comment to “The Chinese Five Elements”

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