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Five Element Theory of Chinese Acupuncture

Five Element
Five Element

After we previously talk about Yin Yang , now we will discuss about the theory of the five element.

Are you ready ?!


Centuries ago, with the lack of technology, traditional healers established a theory of healing based on what they felt with their five senses and draw the correlation with the nature.

So, that was the origin of the concept of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

For me personally, the five elements reminded me to Pokemon. Yes, that Pokemon anime or game.

Pokemon also uses the five elements of the nature (of course, there are plenty more elements to make it more complex and exciting).

It won’t be difficult to see that another franchise accentuating natural elements and that is Avatar: The legend of Aang.

It always makes me chills when the series started with narration.

“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, a time of peace when the Avatar kept balance between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless firebenders. But when the world needed him the most, he vanished.”

Relationship Between Five elements

Five Element Theory
Five Element Relationship

Enough with Aang and now let’s back to five elements theory.

All five elements are interacting one another dynamically to create relations of:

1. Generating / Enchance Cycle It is like a mother-child relationship. For instance, water allows wood to live. So, water is the mother and wood is the child

2. Controlling / Restrain Cycle The clear example is how water can control fire.

3. Rebellious / Overwhelming Cycle This relation happens when an excessive element takes over the control from the supposed-to-be-controlling element. For example a big fire can vaporize smaller amount of water

Each and every unit within the nature and human condition (such as the breathing air, color, taste, visera organ/zangfu, supporting tissue, sense, emotions, etc.) can be classified into those five elements.

Five Elements in Our Body
Five Elements in Our Body

When combined with Yin Yang concept, the five elements concept allows us to understand the relation of organs of our body or in medical term: psychological and pathological relations.

The big question is how these concepts and theories can provide logical explanation about what really happens with our body?

The answer will be very crucial on how successful the diagnosis and the acupuncture treatment.

Furthermore, i recommend that you reading the article about Qi in chinese and medical acupuncture.

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