3.- The five elements in diagnosis-7

3.- The five elements in diagnosis.

Starting from the premise that the human organism is a global (integral) unit, we must take into account that the attacks on the internal organs (viscera) are reflected on the surface of the body.
Disturbances in the function of the gut-organs, as well as the disturbance of their interrelationships, can manifest themselves on the surface of the organism through the corresponding tissues, organs and apparatus, thus producing abnormal changes in the color of the face, as the 5 elements, 5 colors, 5 tastes, 5 sounds etc….. are related to the five organs.
In this way, through diagnosis (inspection, interrogation, palpation, hearing-olfaction…) we can deduce and determine the pathological state of the patient, according to the rules of production-control, aggression-insult.

In this way, if we know and know how to determine the particularities of each of the five elements and take them to the pathological field, we will obtain positive results at the time of diagnosis.
For example:
– If we see that a patient’s face is greenish in color, he is irritable (choleric), has an appetite for sour taste or has that taste in his mouth and his pulse is tense, we think of a liver attack.
– If the color of the face is red, the mouth has a bitter taste, the tongue is red, the psyche (Shen) is disturbed and the pulse is rapid and wide, we suspect an excess of heart fire.
– If the color of the face is greenish in a person who shows symptoms of spleen emptiness, we are dealing with an aggression from the wood to the earth.
– If the color of the face is blackish in a person who suffers from heart, we will be faced with an aggression of water on fire.
– A white coloring indicates an imbalance of metal.

The ancient Chinese attached great importance to the inspection of the color of the face, as the energy of the viscera is reflected in the face.
On this basis the diagnosis is based on the correspondences between the elements and their colors, smells, tastes, sounds, motions, tissues, sense organs, climates.
This section will be developed in detail in the chapter on diagnosis.

The five elements in therapeutics

Therapeutic principles:
– Tonify the mother (indicated in case of emptiness in the mother-child relationship).
For example, in the case of kidney yin emptiness, the kidney does not nourish the liver, which will lead to liver yin emptiness, in other words, “water does not water, it does not nourish the wood”.

The treatment will consist of tonifying the kidney, to nourish, indirectly strengthen the liver or what would be the same “tonify the water to properly engender the wood”.

– Disperse the son (in case of fullness).
Example: in the excess of liver fire, a syndrome of fullness originates; the heart is the child of the liver; we can calm the liver fire by dispersing the heart. “Disperse
the son in case of fullness”.

Most usual therapeutic methods:

“According to the ratio of production”.
1st) Feeding the water to moisten the wood. In other words, tonify the kidney yin to nourish the liver yin. It is used in the insufficiency of the liver yin due to emptiness (insufficiency) of the liver yin.
(insufficiency) of kidney yin, (appearing in this syndrome an excess of liver yang).
2nd) Increase the fire (kidney yang) to warm the spleen yang, due to an emptying of the kidney yang.
Keep in mind that the kidney is the root of the yin-yang of the whole organism.
3rd) Cultivate the earth to produce metal. It is used to tonify the energy of the lung, through strengthening the energy of the spleen.
4th) Produce both metal and water. This will tonify both at the same time in cases of lung-kidney yin emptiness: “Metal produces water and water moistens metal”.


“According to the relationship of domination”.
1st) Inhibit wood to support earth. It is used to unblock, decongest the liver and thus strengthen the spleen (occurs in cases of excess of liver with empty spleen).

2nd) Disperse the heart fire and tonify the kidney. This is indicated in the rupture of the heart-kidney energetic relationship (kidney yin insufficiency with excess of heart fire).
3rd) cultivate the earth to inhibit the water. In this method, toxification is done by heating the spleen-kidney yang to dissolve excess moisture.
4th) Strengthen metal to inhibit wood. Restore the function of the lung to calm, control the wood.
When applying the rules of production-domination of the five elements, in relation to the application of the therapeutic principles, we have to know how to discern the principal from the secondary:
This means treating the mother as the primary treatment and treating the child as secondary or the other way round. Disperse the excess as the main treatment and tonify the emptiness as the secondary treatment or viceversa.

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