Welcome to Millwoods Acupuncture Centre

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Understanding the Five-element theory

In our last newsletter, we have introduced the Five-element theory. The Five-element theory makes the Yin-Yang theory more practicable. In later newsletters we will explain this in each practical case.

The five elements in our body influence each other. They are connected, cooperated each other to maintain our health. None of the elements should be either too much or too short. Extra or short is a status of illness. In the body, some elements could be in extra status, while some others may in a short status. A element that is in short status might result in other element(s) in either extra or short status. The relationship of the five elements can be listed in the following chart.


In the nature, the Wood nourishes (promote, trigger, start, help…) the Fire (the wood could burn as fire); the Fire nourishes the Soil (ash is part of the soil); the soil nourishes the Metal (the metal mine is formed in soil); the Metal nourishes the Water (water can be formed on the cold surface of the cold metal material); and the Water nourishes the Wood (the out side nourish circle of the chart above). At the same time, the Wood suppresses the Soil (the roots of the plants break the soil); the Soil suppresses the Water (soil, such as dam, block the flow of the river); the Water suppresses the Fire; the Fire suppresses the Metal (fire melts the metal); and the Metal suppresses the Wood (such as knife cuts the trees).

The suppressing relationship could turn opposite under some condition.

It is interesting that there could be several ways in the TCM system to re-balance the body function. This is because the multiple relationship between elements in the Five Elements theory. For example, for extra energy in the liver system, we can use the TCM ways to release the extra energy from the liver system (if the illness is caused directly by the liver system), or to release the extra energy from the heart (since the liver is the mother of the heart), or to strengthen the function of the lung system, since the function of the lung system has suppression effect to the liver system naturally (if the extra liver energy is because the previous weakness of the lung system). Therefore, the therapies used by the TCM doctors could differ largely from doctor to doctor. In TCM, there are more ways to ROMA, unlike in Western Medicine in which if the illness is caused by bacteria, we may kill the bacteria by use of the biotic material, may or may not use some immune boasting methods. The variation is the use of the biotic stuff.  It sounds simple and easier, but it also means that we can expect the same or much similar therapy, as well as the healing effects, from doctor to doctor, and from hospital to hospital.