09:47 09:47

The 5 Elements (Wu Hsing)

By | 2018-05-31T13:35:43+00:00 September 3rd, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Chinese Medicine, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on The 5 Elements (Wu Hsing)

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Like Yin/Yang theory, the 5 Elements (or Wu Hsing) are a founding principle of Chinese medicine.  Each of the 5 Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water & Wood) describes the natural dynamic flow of Qi  through the correspondences for season, flavor, organ, climate condition, sound, time of day, and emotion—just to name a few.  By understanding the 5 Elements we can use them to both prevent and treat many imbalances.  Here’s a (very) brief overview of the 5 Elements.

Wood is the element associated with the season of Spring, dawn and youth.  It means new growth and is represented by the color green.   The energy is expansive, moving up and in all directions.  Wood rules the Liver and GallBladder organs and is affected by emotions of anger and frustration.  The climatic factor associated with the element is Wind, which can appear as disharmonies in the body like Bell’s palsy, ticks and epilepsy.  The flavor is sour like lemons and vinegar.  Find out more about eating in Spring.

Fire is associated with Summer, noon time, when we are most active.  The energy is at its peak before calming.  Fire moves upward and hot and it rules the Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestines and the Triple Burner.  Its emotion is joy and elation.  It represented by the color red and heat. Disharmonies may appear as nervous agitation, excessive sweating, thirst and fever.  Its flavor is bitter such as, dark greens, olives and roasted seaweed.  Find out more about eating in Summer.

Earth represents a state of neutrality or balance.   Although often called Late Summer, its season is actually the transition from one to another–the equinoxes and solistices.  It symbolizes rebalancing, […]