Evidence of chi, yin and yang are further represented by the Five Elemental Energies of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.  We see it in the cyclic changes of nature which regulate life on earth.  Also known as the Five Movements, they define the various stages of transformation in the recurring natural cycles of the seasons, growth and decay, shifting climatic conditions, sounds, flavours, emotions, and human physiology.

Each energy is associated with the natural element which most closely resembles its function and character, and from these elements they take their names.  Each element is assigned to an energetic organ system and each organ system has a yin and yang pair.


Element Yin Yang
FIRE Heart Small Intestine
Pericardium Triple Warmer
EARTH Spleen Stomach
METAL Lung Large Intestine
WATER Kidney Bladder
WOOD Liver Gall bladder

Balancing the energies of the 5 elements leads to a healthy body, mind and spirit.  The flow of energy between the 5 elements creates intricate connections and inter-relationships with cycles of creation, support and control, that compares to the biological homeostasis within the human body.

The cycles that keep the balance are the Creative / Promoting cycle and the Controlling Cycle.

The Creative cycle, also known as  Promoting / constructive / Shen cycle is where each element nourishes the next element.  The Mother nourishes the child, so each element gives nourishment (mother) and each element is nourished (child).

Fire burns, creates ash and regenerates the Earth

Earth provides the substances to create Metal

Metal is cold which causes condensation to create Water

Water grows the plants and trees to create Wood

Wood is burned to feed the Fire

The controlling cycle, also known as Destructive / Ko cycle provides discipline to prevent any of the elements growing out of control.

Fire melts Metal

Metal chops Wood

Wood (trees) cover the Earth

Earth soaks up excess Water

Water puts out the Fire

This natural and healthy inter-relationship between the promoting and controlling cycle keeps the elements and chi moving in harmony and balance.

5 Element Characteristics

Zang (Yin) organs   Liver      Heart & Pericardium   Spleen   Lungs   Kidney
Fu (Yang) Organs Gallbladder Small intestine & SJ Stomach Large Intestine Bladder


Green Red Yellow White Black/Dark blue
Chi opening


Eyes Tongue Lips/mouth Nose Ears


Sight Taste Touch / Skin Smell Hearing
 Tissues Connective tissue/



Blood vessels/




Dry skin/


Manifests Nails Face, tongue Lips – sticky mouth, dry/sore lips Body hair, blocked nose, sinusitis Head/pubic
Body Fluids Tears Sweat Saliva Nasal discharge, mucus Spit, urine
Action Twitching Itchy Hiccups Cough Shivering
Emotions Anger Joy Worry Sadness/ grief Fear
Sounds Shouting Laughter Singing Crying/




Seasons Spring Summer Late summer Autumn Winter


East South Central/ Middle West North
Climates Windy Heat Dampness Dryness Cold
Stage of


Birth, sprouting, leaves Growth, blooming, fruit growing Maturity/ growth,

transformation, ripening

Harvest, seeds falling, withering Storage, dormancy
Flavours Sour Bitter Sweet Pungent Salty
Food Wheat, barley, chicken, sour plum Beans, musk,

Coffee, black tea, almonds

Rice, red and black dates Meat, mango, peaches, brown rice, soy beans, Millet, pork, black bean, bean leaf, chestnut, pistachio nut
Smell Rancid Burning / scorched Fragrant Fishy Rotten
Sounds to tonify Knocking on wood Laughter, joyful music Pounding/ Vibrating sound Metal sound (music with metal sound) Sound of mild stream or midnight sound
Life Cycle Infancy Youth Adulthood Old age Death
Phase New Yang Full Yang Yin/Yang Balance New Yin Full Yin
Daily energy Dawn Noon Afternoon Dusk Midnight
Physical Essences Saliva Marrow Vital essence Blood harvest Sexual essence


Benevolence Humility, Propriety, order Trustfulness, faith Rectitude, integrity, righteous-ness, dignity Wisdom
Attributes of mind Rationality, emotion, sensitivity Spiritual, will power, creativity Tranquility, clarity Sentimental, intuition Desire, spontaneity
Negative Drive Hostility Greed Ambition Stubborn Desire


Competition Sex The mind Money Alcohol
Negative Emotion Anger Hate Anxiety Grief Fear
Positive Emotion Patience Joy Empathy Courage Calmness
Other emotions Irritability, blame, rage, resentment, jealousy Nervousness, shock, excitement Worry, regret, remorse, obsessiveness, self-doubt Sadness, shame, disappoint-ment, guilt Loneliness, insecurity
Body types Tall, slender, strong bones and joints, hard workers Pointed features, small hands, quick, energetic Large features, strong legs, calm, generous Triangular features, strong voice, meticulous, strong willed Round features, strong digestion, loyal, enjoy movement
Initial energy/ Higher emotion/ conscious-ness Hun Chi

-Psychic energy / good person


-Directing chi / Vitality & Spirit

Yuan / Yi / Shi

-Primal Chi / Intellectual reasoning

Po chi

-Physical / animal energy

Jing chi (Zhi)

-Creative energy / Will power

Energy quality Generative Expansive Stabilizing Contracting Conserving
Animals Liv – Ox

GB – Rat

Ht –Horse

SI – Goat

Sp – Snake

St – Dragon

Lun – Tiger

LI – Rabbit

Kid – Rooster

UB – Monkey

Primal Spirit Green dragon Red pheasant Yellow phoenix White tiger Black Tortoise
Numbers 3   &   8 2   &   7 5   &   10 4   &   9 1   &   6
Zodiac Gemini, Cancer Virgo, Libra Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius Sagittarius, Capricorn Aeries, Pisces
I Ching Trigrams Wind, thunder Fire Earth, mountain Heaven, lake Water
Hexagrams 51 & 57 30 2 & 52 1 & 58 29
Planet Jupiter Mars Saturn Venus Mercury