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Liberty You will find in this section hot News articles which we feel are of national importance to all folks. Beat the Press is brought to you as a free service from AAJTS.  If you wish to receive weekly Justice Courses or News Articles, join now!


     As mankind evolved, concepts were tied to observed phenomena in the natural world.  As the primitive people developed religions and natural phenomena, explanations are based on observation.  Observation is in fact the first step in Science.  Unfortunately it is the lack of progress of acupuncture science, which has caused 2nd Millennium Practitioners to hold onto primitive and outdated concepts and not bring scientific progress to the soul understanding of acupuncture.  Yet, through the Theory of Five Elements, one early method of passing on acupuncture procedures, this care can be studied and again passed on so other generations can reproduce acupuncture efficacy  


      The genius behind Acupuncture could not find others of similar genius.  He then tried to teach others his medicine.  When he tried to teach how to bring a patients' high temperature under control, he had to liken the fever with fire.  Obviously fire was a good way for a non-medical person to understand fever.  To put out the fire, one would kick dirt on it to smother the flames out.  Thus the earth point was designated to put out the fever.  By using these elements as memory aids, acupuncture, albeit extremely simplistic, could be handed down from generation to generation in this manner.

      As stated in the introduction the ancient Chinese took these elements and made up inseparable mutual relationships to explain observable phenomena occurring in the natural world.  Two primitive though inventive concepts, the Yin and Yang theory and the Five Elements  were merged together to bring a conceptual and theoretical tool to analyze and predict human health phenomena.  Thus, the Five Element theory combined with Yin and Yang are used to generalize and explain the properties of the Zang-Fu organs, the interrelationships, diagnosis and treatment of human ailments.  Again a system, which consisted of the first memory aids for learning, which were indeed advanced concepts for their time.  Yet these make believe concepts albeit disproved today by common sense, are accepted as scientific entities by those who are of the personality type that often leads individuals to believe almost anything, absent any viable proof of existence or reality.

     The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.  All phenomena correspond in nature to, wood, fire, earth, metal or water and that they are in a state of constant motion and change. 

      Wood has the character of growth and developmentFire is hot and can flare upThe Earth gives birth to all thingsMetal descends and is clear.  Finally water flows downwards and is cold.  These form the basis for the 5 principles or elements.  For example early acupuncturists then applied these principals to all aspects of human life, human structure and function, as well as all phenomena in the world, including the meridians and the organs.  The organ, its Meridian and its corresponding elements follow:


Lung                 Hand Taiyin             Metal

Large Intestine   Hand Yangming        Metal

Stomach            Foot Yangming         Earth

Spleen               Foot Taiyin               Earth

Heart                 Hand Shaoyin           Fire

Small Intestine    Hand Taiyang           Fire

Urinary Bladder  Foot Taiyang           Water

Kidney                Foot Shaoyin          Water

Pericardium          Hand Jueyin           Fire

San Jiao               Hand Shaoyang       Fire

Gall Bladder         Foot Shaoyang        Wood

Liver                    Foot Jueyin            Wood



    The Five elements law of relations generalizes five basic functions.  These functions are relative to the Mother-Son identity of an element.  For example wood promotes fire.  Thus wood is the mother and fire the son or wood interpromotes fire.  This type of relationship is extended to all the elements.  Thus wood promotes fire, fire promotes earth, earth promotes metal, metal promotes water and water promotes wood.  This can be drawn as follows (a.):


          Wood      a.

 Water              Fire

     Metal   Earth     

Interacting refers to how one element brings another element under control.  Thus wood acts on earth, earth controls water, water controls fire, fire acts on metal and metal controls wood.  This can be drawn as follows (b.)

          Wood                         W 

 W          F Charts combined:W          F

 b.M     E                    c. M    E


     In chart b., it is clearly depicted that each element is acted upon or is under control of the controller element.  This interacting is also known of as intercontroling.

     These first two functions that of Interpromoting and Interacting are inseparable aspects with both properties; opposition and cooperation.  For example; absent the mother-son promotion, there would be no growth and development.  Absent control there would be no coordination and harmony during growth, development and change.  If there were excess or deficiency of any elements, then there would be abnormal interpomoting and interacting.  These are known as disorders where the “mother affects the son” and the “son affects the mother”.  Further counteracting is the opposite of acting.  For example, if Vital Qi is deficient, wood counteracts on metal.


     This can be graphed as follows:


                         W                 F

                             M      E      

     It is written in Plain Questions, chapter 67 “when the Qi of a given element is in excess, it will overact on the acted element and counteract the acting element.  When the Qi of a given element is deficient, it will be attacked by the acting element and counteracted by the acted element".


   The Five Elements theory is combined with the diagnostic methods you will study later, to determine pathology and treatment.  The Five Shu-Points correspond well for care.  These points are the Jing-Well, Ying-Spring, Shu-Stream, Jing-River and He-Sea Points.  In this order their yin elements correspond to wood, fire, earth, metal and water.  Yang meridians correspond to metal, water, wood, fire and earth.  In other words Yang Jing-Well=metal, while Yang Ying-Spring=water and so forth.  These can be graphed as follows:   

               Jing       Ying      Shu        Jing          He

               Well       Spring        Stream      River         Sea

Yin        Wood      Fire             Earth        Metal          Water

Yang    Metal       Water          Wood       Fire           Earth

     You can easily remember these points found below the elbows and knees with another memory tool.  Think to get water you had to drill a well.  Thus Jing-Well.  From the well the water runs to a spring.  Thus Ying Spring.  This small spring empties into a river, which empties into the sea.  This is likened to reservoirs of Qi.

     These points are related clinically to human heath by the mother son relationships as well as yin and yang as well as the Zang-Fu pathologies.



                                           Gall Bladder





Urinary Bladder Water Kidney     Heart FireStomach


              Lung                            Spleen

         Metal                      Earth

    Large Intestine                      Small Intestine 



        The Chart above lists the Elements with the Yin aspect at the inner circle, and the Yang aspects the outer.  Further the purple arrows denote the promoting aspects while the large green arrow demonstrates counteracting nature of the elements.  The Inner Blue arrows denote the controlling or acting nature of the elements.  Know this chart and its correlations cold.  Below are the most common correlations for the Five Elements.  Know these correlations.

Text Box:  



              WOOD     FIRE     EARTH    METAL  WATER

 ZANG ORGANS  Liver  Heart     Spleen       Lung           Kidney

 FU ORGANS  GB      SI          Stomach     LI                  UB

 5 Sense Organs    Eye    Tongue   Mouth       Nose             Ear

 Five Tissues   Tendon Vessel  Muscle    Skin & Hair   Bone

Emotions      Anger    Joy  Meditation    Grief    Fright/fear

Colors        Green     Red      Yellow      White            Black

Directions    East       South    Middle      West            North

Tastes         Sour        Bitter   Sweet      Pungent         Salty

Season     Spring    Summer  Late Summer Autumn Winter

Environment  Wind    Heat     Dampness  Dryness      Cold



1.      Water is relative to

a.      Kidney

b.      Ear

c.       North

d.      Black

e.       All of the above 

2.      Yin excess damaging yang is due to

a.      Inter-consuming-supporting relationships

b.      Inter-dependence of yin and yang

c.       Opposition of yin and yang

d.      Inter-transforming properties

e.       All of the above. 

3.      Which channel belongs to metal

a.      Hand Taiyin

b.      Foot Jueyin

c.       Hand Jueyin

d.      Hand Shoyang

e.       Foot Shayang  

4-8.      Link the taste to the element.

Liv/Gb                                       Salty

Ht/SI                                           Pungent

St/Sp                                          Sweet

Lv/Li                                           Bitter

Kid/Ub                                      Sour 

9.      Fire belongs to

a.      Small Intestine

b.      Vessels

c.       Joy

d.      Summer

e.       All of the above 

10.     Mother and Son

a.      Earth and Metal

b.      Metal and Fire

c.       Water and Fire

d.      Fire and Fire

e.       Water and Metal 

11.     Liver attacking the Lung

a.      Counteracting

b.      Son-Mother

c.       Overacting

d.      Mother-Son

e.       None of the Above 

12.     Son affects Mother

a.      Liver and Kidney

b.      Gall Bladder and Spleen

c.       Spleen and Large Intestine

d.      Heart and Stomach

e.       Stomach and Spleen 

13.     5 Shu Points Metal

a.      Li2

b.      L11

c.       L9

d.      S47

e.       G44 

14.     Reduce son point or excess heat

a.      H7

b.      H4

c.       H3

d.      H8

e.       H9


by Dr. Scott David Neff

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