March 2012: Five Element Theory Overview

Five Element Theory Overview


Ch’i is the Life Force that is vital to everything – planets, sun, wind, elements, plants, animals and humans. When chi is flowing smoothly, there is balance, harmony and health. Yin/Yang, Five Elements, Seasons and Colors are descriptions of Ch’i Energy as it moves through cycles. Meridians are the pathways through which the Ch’l flows. The Bodymindspirit awareness knows the unity of human systems. For example, liver and skin are not separate from emotions.

Yin (Earth to Sky/Heavens) & Yang (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Yin is related to the front of the body, feminine, nurturing, soft, moist and night. Meridians are deeper in the body. Yin meridians flow from the Earth to the Sky/Heavens. Yang is related to the back and sides of the body, masculine, protective, hard, dry and day. The meridians are more superficial. Yang meridians flow from the Sky/Heavens to the Earth.


Meridian pathways are in the etheric energy field that is inside and just outside of the physical body. The points on these meridians connect with higher frequency Ch’i energies. In utero these pathways inform the development of the body’s organs and systems.

Elements, Season, Colors

Wood Element: Spring

The wood element helps us make plans and put them into action. It filters toxins out of our digestive systems. The related emotion is anger.
Meridians: Liver (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Gallbladder (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Fire Element: Summer

People with out of balance fire systems may be emotionally and physically cold or overheated, distant or trying too hard to prove themselves. People with balanced fire systems live life with zest full of creativity, are warm and nurturing to self and others, are open to new ideas and experiences, have clear personal and sexual boundaries, and are open-hearted with healthy relationships.
Meridians: Heart (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Small Intestine (Sky/Heavens to Earth), Pericardium (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Triple Burner (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Earth Element: Autumn

The earth element relates to fertility digestive issues, emotional instability and a difficult time being embodied. Repetitive thinking, worrying or obsessing is a characteristic of earth element. The emotion is trust.
Meridians: Spleen (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Stomach (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Metal Element (Air): Fall

The metal element rules the peripheral nervous system, communication between bodily systems, structure and strength on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. These meridians take in spiritual energies and oxygen and excrete out carbon dioxide and other waste. The associated emotion is grief.
Meridians: Lung (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Large Intestine (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Water Element: Winter

Water element rules the lymph and immune systems, bones, central nervous system and the adrenal glands. An imbalanced water system contributes to lack of flow in thoughts and feelings. It is associated with the subconscious mind, the emotion of fear, personal and family lineage trauma.
Meridians: Kidney (Earth to Sky/Heavens), Bladder (Sky/Heavens to Earth)

Extraordinary Meridians

There are eight Extraordinary Meridians. The 2 most common are the Du and Ren Meridians. The Du meridian (AKA Governing Vessel) controls all of the yang meridians and is the reservoir of yang energy. The Ren (AKA Conception Vessel) monitors and directs the yin meridians and is the reservoir of yin energy. Together they supply and circulate ch’i in the body, and support core strength and balance. There is no specific season for the Du and Ren Meridians. They relate to the whole year.

The interplay within and between these meridians is the underlying support for a healthy body eco-system.

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