Understanding the Five Elements

“Everything that appears in the physical realm is always connected with energy flow at the invisible level.” – Grand Master Lu

On a physical level, your body expresses the energetic imbalances that are happening deep within. Through studying Five Element Consciousness, we begin to understand that symptoms are simply the body’s way of talking. For example, the emotion of fear as well as issues with the bones or teeth directly relate to the Kidney. Likewise, worry and overthinking are related to the Spleen and Stomach, as are food allergies, muscular problems and migraines in the center of the forehead. The Five Element theory becomes the key to decoding the body’s messages. That’s when each individual begins the difficult work of delving inward to understand the body from a different perspective—one based on an intuitive knowing, not on fear, worry or concern.

Preventing Dis-ease

Every human being is born with a gift—the intuitive wisdom to heal the body from all of its ailments. It also has the incredible ability to keep the body in harmony, thereby preventing dis-ease in any form. Prevention is the focus of TCM. However, people often turn to alternative medicines when their bodies are so far out of balance that they are calling out for help. Studying Five Element Consciousness helps the individual to reawaken its innate healing ability. It fine tunes our healing powers and ups our healing potential. A true understanding of this framework is like having a secret medical bag in your back pocket. It’s something that’s accessible at any time and in any place.

This ancient and Universal framework embodies so much more than the human being and its emotional and physical components. The Five Elements reflects a deep knowing of natural law and provides a blueprint for understanding all of Nature and our role within it. Interconnections are everywhere. Just as nothing in Nature can truly be viewed in isolation (a plant or animal must be studied within its habitat and within its larger ecosystem), nothing in the human body can be separated. All organ systems have a physical and an energetic function, which relates to the five major elements in Nature. Each of the elements—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—include categories such as a season, a direction, climate, stage of growth and development, internal organ, body tissue, emotion, aspect of the soul, taste, color, sound . . . the categories are seemingly limitless.

The Multiple Dimensions of Health

So what’s the key to understanding the Five Elements? Take off the glasses that you’ve been using to look at life and health and understand that just as Nature has multiple levels of interconnections, so too does the human body. Instead, look at your body—your life and your health—from a new angle. Life is not “flat”. The body is not “flat”. Nature is not “flat”. All of life happens in a multi-dimensional world, so why should health be any different? The Five Elements offers a diagnostic framework to recognize where imbalances in the body, mind, emotions, and spirit lie.

Intrigued by the Five Element Framework? If so, take a deeper look into TCM Wisdom. What Comes First: Symptom or Disease?