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Chinese Medicine - Connecting The Five Elements

Aug 15, 2008
The five elements consist of water, wood, fire, earth and metal. When looking at these elements, there are certain attributes that are analyzed. In turn, the analysis that is made will also determine how it is related to various organs. Not only did these five elements determine the relation of the elements to organs, but went on to include things such as how emotions corresponded with these various elements. The idea of the five elements is to see how everything is interconnected to each other through the universe.

In order for one to be balanced and healthy in Chinese traditions, all of the elements in their body have to be balanced. In order to do this, one must first understand how the elements work together to achieve and maintain complete health. If you are looking towards nature to find a way to heal, then Chinese medicine can help to define what areas you should be looking at.

Not only is the relationship to nature and the body interchangeable, but there are also ways that Chinese medicine uses this relationship in order to help one gain optimal health. By taking the five elements and linking them together, as well as applying them to how one is able to live, there is the ability for one to understand how to remain balanced and healthy.

After the five elements have been divided and completely understood, they are all put into the proper alignment and place. This is known as the Shen Cycle, which translates into the Nourishing Cycle. When one is completely balanced and healthy, they can use the cycle of the elements to help. It is said, according to these Chinese medicine principles that water nourishes wood, wood fuels fire, fire makes earth, and earth yields metal and metal produces water.

Within this same cycle of nourishing, each of the elements can also destroy each other. This is known as Ko, or the Regulating Cycle. When the opposite elements are combined they cancel each other out. Chinese medicine considers both of these cycles to be the natural order of things. They can then take this natural order to help either balance out an imbalanced element in one's body, or help to nourish something that is out of order.

Chinese medicine, at its very roots, carries the philosophy and ideal of combining the natural elements of earth with healing. By cycling together the elements, either through nourishing the elements, or canceling them out, it allows one to keep the natural order in their own life. It is simply understanding when one's body is in the specific element and understanding how it should respond.
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