The Five Element Theory serves as a major diagnostic and treatment tool in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is based on the observation of the natural cycles and interrelationships in the environment and within ourselves. For example, there are five environmental elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood – each corresponding with certain body organs, such as the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, urinary bladder and gull bladder. The five different elements are associated with different times of the year: fire with summer, Earth with late summer, metal with autumn, water with winter and wood with spring.
The five elements interact with each other (they depend on each other). For example, the liver, belonging to the Wood element, directly affects the spleen, which belongs to the Earth element. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners try to maintain a balance among the body’s organs
Spring is associated with the Wood element, which governs the liver and gall bladder. Strong winds are typical during spring. The blowing of wind in spring could over-strengthen the liver, which in turn could affect the spleen. If so, a disharmony of the liver and spleen occurs. TCM practitioners may detect this imbalance by observing symptoms such as stomach pain, acid regurgitation, stomach distention and diarrhea.