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The Five Elements of TCM

The Five Elements of TCM

Five Elements theory, also referred to as “Wu Xing”(五行), is the central part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The earliest mentions date back to 300 B.C in the ancient text Huangdi Neijing(黃帝難經). It’s a observation of nature and also internal organs, which explain how they all inter-connect and react with each other. Each element can have any of the following interactions with other element:

  • inter-promoting (相生, generating cycle), eg: Wood generate Fire
  • Inter-regulating (相剋, overcoming cycle) eg: Water overcome Fire
  • Weakening (相洩,reverse generating cycle) eg: Wood deplete Water
  • Overacting (相乘,excessive overcoming) eg: Wood excessive overcoming Earth
  • Counteracting (相侮, reverse overcoming) eg: Wood overcoming Metal

Since each element is internally connected with others, when an organ has imbalance, it can also effect on other organs. That why in David Lee Acupuncture, when we deal with a problem, we will not only work on the affected organ but will also adjust organs which are related to it so it can bring the body back into its original balance. An example is, if you have a sleeping problem. We will need to look into the cause, Heart in Chinese Medicine is the mind, so it is the organ which got affected. But how it got affected can have a lot of reason, we will just list few for example:

  • Heart (Fire) itself is too strong, which often cause by anxiety.
  • Heart (Fire) too weak and have deficiency, usually will relate to dreaming and forgetful
  • Liver (Wood) stagnation, which are usually cause by too much worry or depressed mood.

That’s why in David Lee Acupuncture, we will investigate and find out what’s the real cause of the problem and imbalance, then we will tailor the therapy to address the imbalance and bring back the harmony.

This is referred to as the Five Element Theory, which perceives the human body as a miniature reflection of the universe in a sense.

This theory suggests that everything present in the wider cosmos is imprinted within our bodies and can be utilised to restore and stabilise our health, thereby reinstating harmony.

According to this theory, regaining balance entails achieving a harmonious relationship between the internal organs of the body and the external elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.

In TCM, referring to an organ may not actually mean that physical internal organ, but rather the function it is responsible for.

One example being the heart, represented by fire, which in TCM is not so much concerned with cardiovascular fitness or pumping blood but rather, thinking, contentment, and self expression.

The heart is seen as the king of all organs and the place where the spirit resides, however, because of the relationship between the organs, what might show as an issue of the heart organ, is in fact another organ failing to provide adequate support.

This is why it is important for a qualified practitioner to assess and treat those seeking TCM, and for balance to be the aim of all treatment.

By attaining equilibrium among these elements, balance and wellbeing can be restored in the individual.

At David Lee Acupuncture, we look at these signs, along with pulse and tongue diagnosis to determine the underlying cause and select the appropriate acu points and channels for treatment so that the body self-repairs.

To treat the problem, we insert very fine needles at specific energy points (“acu points”) along the channels to unblock and re-balance “qi” in the body.

Along with needles, we may also combine other techniques to tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs. One of the techniques often combined with needle treatment is moxibustion (also known as “moxa”).This is referred to as the Five Element Theory, which perceives the human body as a miniature reflection of the universe in a sense.

This theory suggests that everything present in the wider cosmos is imprinted within our bodies and can be utilised to restore and stabilise our health, thereby reinstating harmony.

According to this theory, regaining balance entails achieving a harmonious relationship between the internal organs of the body and the external elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.

In TCM, referring to an organ may not actually mean that physical internal organ, but rather the function it is responsible for.

One example being the heart, represented by fire, which in TCM is not so much concerned with cardiovascular fitness or pumping blood but rather, thinking, contentment, and self expression.

The heart is seen as the king of all organs and the place where the spirit resides, however, because of the relationship between the organs, what might show as an issue of the heart organ, is in fact another organ failing to provide adequate support.

This is why it is important for a qualified practitioner to assess and treat those seeking TCM, and for balance to be the aim of all treatment.

By attaining equilibrium among these elements, balance and wellbeing can be restored in the individual.

At David Lee Acupuncture, we look at these signs, along with pulse and tongue diagnosis to determine the underlying cause and select the appropriate acu points and channels for treatment so that the body self-repairs.

To treat the problem, we insert very fine needles at specific energy points (“acu points”) along the channels to unblock and re-balance “qi” in the body.

Along with needles, we may also combine other techniques to tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs. One of the techniques often combined with needle treatment is moxibustion (also known as “moxa”).