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  • Writer's pictureApril Stear

The 5 Elements

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a belief in the continuous flow of energy. This understanding of the cyclical flow of energy, or Qi, is broken down into 5 elements that are each associated with a season and a part of the body: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element flows into the next. All of the elements support each other and they help us to understand the physiology and pathology in our bodies.

The Cycle: Wood (Spring/ Liver, Gallbladder) is a period of vitality and growth of plants and trees. Wood feeds Fire (Summer/ Heart, Small Intestine) which is a period of flowering and energy. Fire produces Earth (Late Summer/ Spleen, Stomach), and summer’s heat leads to an abundant harvest in the later months. Leaves fall off trees during this season creating the mineral resources of Metal (Autumn/ Lungs, Large Intestine). This is a time of harvesting and Metal collects Water (Winter/ Kidney/Bladder) this is a time of retreat and stillness. Water nourishes Wood and the cycle begins again.

When all 5 elements are in harmony within us we feel balanced, healthy and nourished.

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