5 Systems

In Chinese medicine, there are only five systems in the body, also known as the five elements or the five transformations. Each system is interconnected with all of the others, functioning as an essential part of the bigger whole. Because there are only five systems, everything in the body is divided up quite differently than it is in Western medicine. For example, for each system, there is a corresponding pair of internal organs, as well as a tissue, and a sensory function. However, there are also other correspondences within this theory for which there is no equivalent in Western medicine, such as diagnostic colors and emotional qualities.

This theory puts a strong emphasis on the relationships that exist between the five systems, with an understanding that wellness is only possible if they support and coordinate with each other, working together in a harmonious way. When any one system is out of balance it will inevitably affect all of the others; some will be drained while others will overwork to try and compensate. This is why re-balancing any one system will always have a positive effect on all of the others. Within this theory there is also an understanding that there is an intimate connection between our physical health and emotional state, which are understood to be interdependent and inseparable.

Five Elements
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