User Manual

Section II The Five Elements

Transformation and Change

​The ancient Chinese developed an understanding of the human body called The Five Elements, which is used to describe all our interactions and relationships. It is the most accurate diagnostic system in the world to truly understand the human body. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This system plumbs the depths of awareness about how each of our organs generate their portion of our total consciousness. Because of our cyclical nature, each element also represents a season of the year.

What Are the Five Elements?

The ancient Chinese did not consider atoms and cells to be the building blocks of the material world. Instead, they considered transformation and change to be the building blocks on which reality is based, and the predictable patterns of change and interaction. We learn that we do not have a separate body and mind. We actually have a bodymind. The five elements lets us clearly understand how simple it is to bring each aspect of our consciousness into harmony with all life.

Each of the five elements describes unique portions of our consciousness and how we can easily bring it into harmony:

  1. WOOD: The power to assert ourselves: The nobility of our ideals, the magnificence of our dreams, and the thoroughness of our plans give breadth and depth to our character. These are sacred parts of our character that must be developed if we are to be whole. The liver and gallbladder are the organ systems of the element of wood.
  2. FIRE: Love: We learn that the purpose of life is to cherish everyone and everything. Our heart makes everything we focus on have reality in our own unique world, no matter whether we are focusing on something we want—or something we would never want. Just focusing on it draws it into our world. Heart and small intestine are the organ systems of the fire element.
  3. EARTH: Empathy: Earth represents the horizontal bar of the cross, which predates Christianity: Earth's lessons are that we are safe, loved and that we must develop clear boundaries. Home and hearth are the basis of security. Earth is the largest element since all the other elements exist within it. Its organ systems are stomach, spleen, and pancreas.
  4. METAL: The power to grieve and the power to transform and change: Metal is the vertical aspect of the cross, connecting us to the spiritual dimensions. Through our lungs and large intestine, we take in and let go. The metal element is where we develop fire in the belly.
  5. WATER: Fear: The water element within our bodies represents emotional energy, feelings. The kidneys are our intuitive brains. The bladder expresses our feelings. Because our feelings are most similar to the energy of our spirit, feeling our feelings and contemplating them gives us direct access to the wisdom of our spirit.

Excerpted from Body Intelligence, A New Paradigm by John L. Mayfield, D.C.

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