The five elements theory along with the concepts of “Yin” and “Yang” and the concept of the vital force “Chi”, are the basis of Chinese medicine and philosophy. The five elements in Chinese medicine are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, which represent all the changes, all the phenomena observed in the universe. The Chinese word for element is ” Xing “, which means motion. The element is more of a process, a movement, a quality of the vital force “Chi” and not something fixed and static.

The seasons correspond to the following 5 elements:

Wood = Spring

Fire = Summer

Earth = End of summer

Metal = Autumn

Water = Winter


The 5 elements and the 5 characters


Earth: gastrointestinal disorders, swelling, gas, indigestion, irritable bowel, peptic ulcer.

The energy of the Earth is our mother, which nourishes us. Food satisfies our basic needs, our senses and balances several psychological dysfunctions. We eat to satisfy our concerns and insecurities. If the energy of the Earth is in balance,  man’s nature is tolerant, has friends of every kind, doesn’t criticise and embraces the whole world. If there is a lot of energy, people rely on the person, who often offers warmth and balance. They can be good teachers and mentors. Usually, they have some extra weight and a weakness for sweets.

The element of the Earth is represented by the stomach and spleen.

Food’s normal movement through the stomach is from top to bottom. If there is an opposite movement (such as in vomit), then we have a problem in the ‘Chi” – the energy – of the stomach. People whose stomach is not functioning properly, tend to constantly rethink their problems or becoming a nuisance because they continually referring to their problem, without ever trying to find a solution.


Ιmbalance of the Earth element

Usually it’s about the gastrointestinal system, the spleen and the stomach. When there is an imbalance of the Earth there is constant hunger. Also, there are gas and pain in the intestines, like indigestion. Ιrritable bowel, Crohn’s disease and often colitis.



  • More water
  • Well cooked dishes
  • Low fat foods
  • Less alcohol, coffee, sweets
  • Adequate and good quality meals

which element in traditional Chinese medicine are you

Metal: dermatological problems, asthma, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, flu, hay fever.

In Chinese medicine the metal symbolizes the sense of tranquility and the return to simplicity. Metal is associated with older ages, where usually there is introspection. Someone who belongs to the energy of the metal, needs quality, purity and he carefully chooses words that he uses.

The element of the Metal is represented by the lungs.

The lungs are called “Ministers”, because they are located next to the heart, and are considered particularly important, as they control the energy throughout the body.


Ιmbalance of the Metal element

The metal corresponds to the lungs and colon. The lungs get air and provide the “Chi” that nourishes the whole body while the colon eliminates waste. There is a constant balance between these two organs. Just like the large intestine needs to eliminate waste and then to relax, the same way should man lead his life. People who belong to the energy of the metal, are usually obstinate. In some cases, they become obsessed with cleanliness, order and accuracy or have extreme religion views. Getting older, often develop colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.



  • Breathing exercises
  • Stable diet program
  • Moisture retention in the surroundings


Water: Low sexual ability, infertility, prostatitis, phobias, inflammations on muscles, joints, neck, eyes, panic attacks.

In Chinese medicine philosophy there is an organ of the human body which stores energy reserves, and this organ is the kidney along with the bladder. The catalytic power of water is present everywhere in nature. The sexual energy during the act, both for men and women, is linked to the kidneys. If there is low kidney energy, then you may experience low sexual desire and decreased ability for sexual stimulation, infertility and low sperm count. Kidneys are also linked with phobias. Someone with high energy water may have higher strength than the average. They tend to look younger than their age and they seem to have endless energy and high sexual drive.

Water is represented by the kidneys.

Kidneys control the water, relieving the body of excess and keeping the amount needed within the body. The bladder is the organ that stores it. Without storing, the energy quickly fades and there is a strong sense of fatigue. Often, people get tired easily have urinary frequency.


Ιmbalance of the Water element

When there is an imbalance in the energy of the Water, sexual disorders are created, impotence, erectile disorders, lack of desire. On the other hand, excessive sexual activity may exhaust energy levels. Generally, prolonged fatigue depletes kidneys and this condition causes inflammation in various parts of the body, joints and tendons, muscles, eyes, throat. Unreasonable phobias and feelings of weakness may be due to the fall of energy of water and lead to depression. Panic attacks, chronic fatigue syndrome and aches in waist and knees, spots associated with the bladder, are often symptoms. Frequent urination, thirst and lack of willingness to achieve difficult targets, constitute some kidney deficiency symptoms.



  • Adequate relaxation and sleep
  • Adequate water intake
  • Systematic exercise

which element in traditional Chinese medicine are you

Fire: Depression, autoimmune diseases, allergies, palpitations, shortness of breath, carpal tunnel syndrome, dependency problems.

The fire is represented by the summer, where all is bright and optimistic.

If the fire is in balance, the person is enthusiastic and passionate. He wants recognition and can be located in the center of attention. If there is pathology, he may not to know where to stop and become annoying. If again there is shortage, he can find life meaningless.

The fire is represented by the heart.

In Chinese medicine the heart is the “Emperor”, which guides and facilitates the body’s functions. As it’s assistant, has the small intestine, which filters food, emotions, energy. The fire represents joy and laughter. If energy is high, there is a positive attitude of life, warmth in relationships and a lot of joy. People empathize, but without being “lost” in the problems of others. If there is no exaggeration in energy, the person might suffer, but still remain cheerful, smiling as if nothing is wrong. If there is a shortage, then the person is complaining about a lack of joy in life. Often there is some traumatic experience in their relationships, which makes them cautious with new acquaintances and fills them with fear for close contact. The trauma may refer to something that happened during childhood. Often, a period of euphoria is followed by depression.


Ιmbalance of the Fire element

The most frequent disorders is Raynaud’s disease, with frozen hands and feet, sensitive immune system which becomes overactive and causing autoimmune diseases or allergies and depression. The overall sensitivity of these people has to do with the “broken heart”, in Chinese medicine is associated with the protection, which expresses the immune system. Food allergies, allergies to environmental factors, in smells or to pollen is very common when there is overactivity of the immune system. Due to stress, there are symptoms that are similar to those of heart disease, like chest pains, palpitations and shortness of breath.



  • Activities that give meaning to life. Pleasant, new activities that bring satisfaction, are necessary to be included in everyday life
  • Adequate sleep
  • Avoid addictive substances (tobacco, alcohol, drugs)
  • Mild exercise

which element in traditional Chinese medicine are you

Wood: menstrual problems, headaches, insomnia, anger, tension, fatigue.

The energy of wood is like the spring, the birth and development. The element of wood has creativity, is full of ideas which may become obsessions. Often, artists who are full of desire to create or scientists who seek confirmation on their ideas, belong to the energy of the wood. If someone is vigorous, ambitious and competitive, he probably has a lot of features from the energy of wood. Communication in their relationships are not as important as the need to express their own opinions about things. Anger is the dominant emotion, but when there is balance in a person, anger is controlled and intensity in this person is creative. That doesn’t mean that people who belong to the character of the wood are constantly angry. When they can not express their anger directly, there is a block of in their energy flow.

Wood is represented by the liver.

The energy flow depends on the activity of the liver, which directs blood where it’s needed. Associated with the creative spirit and with good quality sleep.


Ιmbalance of the Fire element

The patients with blockage in energy of  the wood is impatient and resent easily. If the energy of wood is blocked, the heart is unable to get the energy it needs and so it is easy to become ill. In women, this often leads to imbalance hormonal disorder, which mainly concerns the menstruation.



  • All techniques of relaxation (massage, yoga, meditation)
  • Fast walking
  • Low fat foods. Diet with raw fruits, vegetables and whole grain bread.
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