The Five Elements of Oriental Medicine provide an organizing energetic framework for understanding body function.
Many different cultures contemplated the fundamental energies of nature, typically categorized into 4 or 5 different elements.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has its roots in Daoist philosophy which is based in understanding the opposing forces of yin and yang.
Yin is the material aspect of creation, while yang is the energetic side of existence...
Yin and yang are not only dynamic opposites, but also are understood to cycle, with each containing the seed of the other...
The Five Elements are an extension and refinement of this perspective of duality.
Within each of the Five Elements, there are both yin and yang aspects.
There are multiple different sequences of the Five Elements, based on the nature of the interaction:
Generating or Creating (Sheng) Cycle: Wood -> Fire -> Earth -> Metal -> Water ->
Controlling or Destroying (Ke) Cycle: Wood -> Earth -> Water -> Fire -> Metal ->
Overacting (Cheng) Cycle: Wood -> Fire -> Earth -> Metal -> Water ->
Insulting (Wu) Cycle: Wood -> Metal -> Fire -> Water -> Earth ->
In our Clinical Theory of Everything, we also emphasize a special cycle related to the development and function of consciousness:
Consciousness or Development Cycle: Metal -> Fire -> Earth -> Water -> Wood ->
See the pages under Stresses on Meridians and Chakras for how we model the relationship of these energy structures to each of the Five Elements.
[*The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.] T.D.C.