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The Five Phases – Oh Hang

The theory of The Five Phases is deeply woven into the fabric of Chinese culture. The theory was integrated into Chinese medicine as early as the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE).

The Five Phases are an extension of the theory of Um and Yang and are often used to explain natural processes of change in relationships that may occur more slowly than that which can be explained by Um and Yang. For example, seasonal changes are cyclical changes seen in nature that are better described by Five Phase Theory as opposed to Um and Yang.

The five phases with hanja are listed below:

Wood – Mok 木 Fire – Hwa 火 Earth – To 土 Metal – Geum 金 Water – Su 水

Generating Sequence – Shēng 蛺 is used to describe a process in which each phase nourishes and supports the next phase. In this sequence, Wood creates Fire, Fire creates Earth (Ash), Earth creates Metal, Metal creates Water, and Water creates Wood.

Controlling Sequence – Kè 郅 is used to describe a process in which each phase controls and keeps in place the phase two steps away. In this sequence, Fire melts Metal, Metal cuts Wood, Wood penetrates the Earth, Earth dams the Water, Water extinguishes the Fire.

The theory of Five Phases describes many relationships which are critical to the understanding of World Ki Gong sets. ConceptWoodFireEarthMetalWaterYing OrganLiverHeart PericardiumSpleenLungKidneyYang OrganGall BladderSmall Intestine San JiaoStomachLarge IntestineBladderBody TissueTendon FasciaBlood VesselsMuscleSkin/ HairBoneSense OrganEyesTongueLipsNoseEarEmotionAngerJoy Shock/ FrightPensiveness WorrySadnessFearColorGreenRedYellowWhiteBlue/ BlackTasteSourBitterSweetPungentSaltySeasonSpringSummerLate SummerAutumWinterDirectionEastSouthCenterWestNorthClimateWindHeatDampnessDrynessCold

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