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  Home  ->  Classes  ->  Hsing I (Xing Yi)  ->  Five Elements
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Hsing I Chuan (Xing Yi Quan) - Five Elements

Hsing I (Xing Yi) Five Elements:

WOOD (Mu) - Crushing (Beng) - Liver
FIRE (Huo) - Exploding (Pao) - Heart
EARTH (Tu) - Crossing (Heng) - Spleen
METAL (Jin) - Splitting (Pi) - Lungs
WATER (Shui) - Drilling (Zuan) - Kidneys

Click here for a detailed
Five Elements Diagram.
Five Elements Diagram

The Five Elements and their cycles of balance and imbalance are the basis for much of Chinese culture. These elements were used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena:

  • METAL (Jin) - Splitting (Pi)
    Yin or Zang (Solid) Organ: Lungs
    Yang or Fu (Hollow) Organ: Large Intestine
  • WOOD (Mu) - Crushing (Beng)
    Yin or Zang (Solid) Organ: Liver
    Yang or Fu (Hollow) Organ: Gall Bladder
  • WATER (Shui) - Drilling (Zuan)
    Yin or Zang (Solid) Organ: Kidneys
    Yang or Fu (Hollow) Organ: Urinary Bladder
  • FIRE (Huo) - Exploding (Pao)
    Yin or Zang (Solid) Organ: Heart and Pericardium
    Yang or Fu (Hollow) Organ: Small Intestine and Triple Heater
  • EARTH (Tu) - Crossing (Heng)
    Yin or Zang (Solid) Organ: Spleen
    Yang or Fu (Hollow) Organ: Stomache

Click here to download a detailed
Five Elements Chart Five Elements Chart.

These five phases describe both a creation (sheng) cycle and an destruction (ke) cycle of interactions between the phases. These cycles are sometimes called "mutual production" and "mutual conquest". These are the cycles of balance.

In the generating or creation cycle:

  • METAL collects WATER
  • WATER nourishes WOOD
  • WOOD feeds FIRE
  • FIRE makes EARTH
  • EARTH creates METAL

In the controlling or destructive cycle:

  • METAL splits WOOD
  • WOOD breaks EARTH
  • EARTH absorbs WATER
  • WATER douses FIRE
  • FIRE melts METAL

If any of the elements are over abundant they can disrupt the balance. Fire can create Earth, but too much Fire will melt the Earth. Water can control Fire, but too much Fire will evaporate Water. These are the cycles of imbalance, the overacting (cheng) cycle and the insulting (wu) cycle.

In the overacting cycle which follows the creation cycle:

  • Too much METAL overacts WATER
  • Too much WATER overacts WOOD
  • Too much WOOD overacts FIRE
  • Too much FIRE overacts EARTH
  • Too much EARTH overacts METAL

In the insulting cycle which is the reverse destructive cycle:

  • Too much METAL insults FIRE
  • Too much WOOD insults METAL
  • Too much EARTH insults WOOD
  • Too much WATER insults EARTH
  • Too much FIRE insults WATER

When breathing our focus begins with the fire point and progresses as follows:

  1. Fire Point - tongue on roof of the mouth directly behind the teeth
  2. Water Point - tongue on center of the roof of the mouth
  3. Wind Point - tongue at the rear of the roof of the mouth

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