5 Element Theory

The 5 Element Theory stems from the Chinese tradition of Taoism. The basis of Taoism is to live in the flow of life, to be true to the natural harmony of nature.

The Yin/Yang theory stems from this. Yin /Yang is a method of describing the relative characteristics of elements in nature.

Yin qualities are dark, cold, feminine, stillness. Yang qualities are light, heat, masculine, movement

However, determining whether an object is Yin or Yang there is no absolute. It depends on the relative nature of the two objects being compared. For example, water is Yang compared to ice and Yin compared to steam. Yin/Yang explains opposite forces and that nothing can exist without its opposite. Night does not exist without day: light does not exist without dark. These opposites in nature flow into one another.

5 Element Theory

There are 5 elements in nature: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements reflect the natural order in the universe.

When an Element is out of balance, the other elements are impacted. They try and compensate to re balance the overall system. The energy system is always trying to maintain equilibrium.

Each of the elements have qualities, including:

  • Yin Meridian
  • Yang meridian
  • Season
  • Internal Organ
  • Time
  • Colour
  • Taste

The meridians are energy lines in the body, they impact our overall health. Imbalances in the meridians can affect us on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. By balancing the meridians we maintain our overall health.

The Five Elements and their corresponding meridians are above.

The YIN Meridians are:

  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Spleen
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Heart Constrictor / Pericardium

The YANG Meridians are:

  • Gall bladder
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Bladder
  • Triple heater

There are a number of ways to maintain the overall balance of the meridians.

  • Shiatsu treatment or Acupuncture – these treatments work on the basis of bringing the overall system into balance. By balancing the meridian system overall health is restored. In these treatments the practitioner uses a variety of techniques to determine which meridians are out of balance and then the treatment is used to balance the entire system.

  • Movement – Qigong  or a Meridian based Yoga such as Ki Yoga can balance the meridians. The movement is based on the elements and corresponding seasons. The specific Yoga is determined by the meridian that is weakest or has the least energy we stimulate the meridian with specific Yoga. By stimulating the meridian with the least energy, the other meridians automatically balance as they no longer need to compensate.

  • Food – specific foods affect each meridian. There is food that can be removed from the diet and food that can be introduced to re balance a meridian.

There are also various lifestyle changes or breathing and meditation techniques that can balance the meridians.

To find out more about meridians and how to balance them, join us April 7th for a day of Ki Yoga, meditation and relaxation - Included in Inspire YW Membership.


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About the Author

Liama Aesha has been a Shiatsu Practitioner for 17 years and a Yoga Teacher for 10 years.

She owns her own clinic and Yoga studio in Dee Why. She believes in empowering her clients with the knowledge to understand their own health and to give them the best tools to use as and when they require.

Registered Member of Shiatsu Therapy Association, Australia.
Registered Level 2 Teacher with Yoga Australia
Registered Yoga Therapist with Yoga Australia

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Training Certified with Yoga Australia