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Temple Blog Biological Rhythm, and five elements theory

Traditional chinese medicine

five elements

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses, in addition to Yin & Yang theory, the Five Elements Theory to understand seasonal rhythms. Spring corresponds to wood, summer to fire, late summer to the earth, autumn to metal, and winter to water. Each season has its own Five Elements features. 

The Five Zang organs also have their own Five Elements features. The liver belongs to wood, heart to fire, spleen to earth, lung to metal and kidney to water

The liver dominates the spring, heart summer, spleen late summer, lung autumn and kidney winter. Therefore, the human body appears to be a seasonal rhythm of rotating duty by “liver–heart–spleen–lung–kidney”, similar to the natural rhythm.

How can human seasonal rhythm be expressed?

The accurate expression is a variation in pulse manifestation. A periodic variation of “spring pulse-like string”, “summer pulse-like hook”, “autumn pulse-like floats”, and “winter pulse-like stone” reflect the state of Qi and blood, and therefore human blood and Qi during the four seasons also appear periodic variation.

Unfortunately, Qi and blood are hard to visualize, and the activity of Qi is difficult to normalize and standardize. The seasonal rhythms of the onset of diseases can reflect from the side view of the biological season rhythms.

Biological Rhythm and Five Elements Theory
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The spring is the season of depression

Spring belongs to wood and is the season of a high incidence of depression. The liver is positioned as deficient for a depressive person. The wood represents the genesis and growth. The body needs to enter a “wood” state, relying on the genesis and growth function of the liver. Therefore, in the case of liver deficiency, body requirements can not be satisfied, and exterior needs may, in turn, aggravate the exhaustion of liver Qi, resulting in a depressed state with the failure of the body’s entry into the “genesis and growth” rhythm. 


Additional research confirmed that the incidence of liver cancer in spring is higher than that in other seasons. The rhythm of the disease onset can be adopted as indirect proof of the presence of human biological rhythms. The human rhythm of “liver–heart–spleen–lung–kidney” is not a sequential prosperity-decline cycle of a single organ. It is a rhythm with successive appearances of states of “wood–fire–earth–metal–water” in the body. Every organ is on duty for two hours based on the body clock. It is only a description because a specific organ is needed during a particular period to exert the function to accomplish the changes of rhythm.

The circadian or seasonal rhythms are a continuous variation in the functional state of the human body during a day or a year. The human body may be in a specific condition during a particular period. It is easy to comprehend the human body if this concept is understood during certain stages. Five Zang organs play an essential role in converting and realizing functional steps.

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