Wu Xing or The Five Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Wu Xing or the Five Phases - characteristics of movement pertaining to the different qualities of Qi (energy) in the universe. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Wu Xing is the term used to describe the Theory of the Five Elements which, along with Yin/Yang, compose the basics of the philosophy underlying the practice of TCM.

In Shiatsu Therapy we understand the body mind and clear Chi or Ki through the lens of The five elements which correspond to the basic elements co-existing in nature - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.


Wu Xing is the investigation of relationships in nature and in man which differentiates between the manifestations of Qi in all phenomena. The ancient Chinese studied these relationships in nature and applied them to the dynamics of the human body and mind. This empirical observation lead to the conclusion that these five phases, elements or forces, and their constant interaction with each other, can be used as a working model to describe different aspects of human beings - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.


By observing, understanding and experiencing the forces that govern the cycles of change in the external world around us we can see how they are duplicated within us, on the levels of body, mind and spirit. The same forces that affect our physical, sensory and perceptual body affect our emotional and mental state, as well as our spiritual attitudes.


Science recognise forces within all, strong force, weak force, magnetic force, electrical force, magnetic force, and gravity and much of these contain light spectrums of some kind. These forces of physics are present within us and around us, we can use these for health, in Chinese Medicine we call this life force energy Chi and in Shiatsu Ki.


Recognizing the cyclic nature and characteristics of these forces, temporary and long-term, assists us in mapping and comprehending the processes of our own progress, development and growth as a human being.

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