The 5 Systems of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese medicine there are only five systems in the body, also known as the five elements or the five transformations. Each system is connected to all of the others, functioning as an essential part of the bigger whole. Because there are only five systems, everything is divided up quite differently than it is in western medicine. For example, for each system there is a corresponding pair of internal organs, as well as a tissue and sensory function. However, there are also other correspondences within this theory for which there is no equivalent in western medicine, such as seasonal and emotional qualities.
This theory puts a strong emphasis on the different types of relationships that exist between the five systems, with an understanding that wellness is only possible if they support and coordinate with each other, working together in harmony as a single unit. In this system there is also an understanding that there is an intimate connection between our physical health and emotional state, which are understood to be interdependent and inseparable.