The 5 element theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) describes the relationship of the elements wood, fire, earth, water and metal in the body. Each element has correlating channel/organ, sense organ, season, color, personality and more.
The Elements are standing in different relationships with each other. For TCM practitioners it's important to know the interactions of the Elements to find the cause of the disease and to differentiate the symptoms.
The elements generate (support) each other, control each other and they can injure each other.
The Elements are:
Yin Channel/Organ: Liver
Yang Channel/Organ: Gallbladder
Sense Organ: Eyes
Tissue: Sinews (tendons)
Yin Channel/Organ: Heart
Yang Channel/Organ: Small Intestine
Sense Organ: Tongue
Tissue: Blood Vessels
Yin Channel/Organ: Spleen
Yang Channel/Organ: Stomach
Sense Organ: Mouth
Season: change of season from into to other
Yin Channel/Organ: Lung
Yang Channel/Organ: Large Intestine
Sense Organ: Nose
Yin Channel/Organ: Kidney
Yang Channel/Organ: Urinary Bladder
Sense Organ: Ears
Their relationships with each other:
The Generating cycle is shown with the green arrows. Earth generates Metal, Metal generates Water, Water generates Wood and Wood generates Fire.
Thousand of years ago when Traditional Chinese Medicine started to develop the practitioners of that practice watched nature and our interactions with nature very closely. We are part of nature and so it makes sense to find the elements that are found in nature can be found within us.
For example the Spleen and Stomach belong to the earth element. The stomach breaks down food into small nutritional parts, just as the organisms do in the soil. They break down old leaves, and plant parts into small nutritional parts to make them available again for other plants to use so they can grow.