Traditional Chinese Medicine

The 5 Elements and Life Cycle

This is a sort of a review of 5 elements but I missed its association with cycles of life. Apparently different stage of our lives are also associated with the 5 elements based on the characteristics that one tend to see.

Starting from birth, we grow rapidly. We are new, the world is new to us. This is the Wood phase.

As we enter the teenage early adult year, we enter the Fire cycle. This is associated with development of sexuality. I find that this is interesting as we tend to associate the teenage years with its volatility. Looking back, we were also a bit of drama queens where every little thing can get blown out of proportion. This is actually very true of the fire element, as it also helps the function of the mind.

Adulthood and middle age is associated with the Earth. Earth is centered and nurturing, and this is when most of us will be starting a family. This also is a phase where, hopefully we’ve learned to mellow out and become more easy going, another Earth trait.

Earth then give in to Metal, where we further mature, then it gives way to Water, the geriatric phase of our life, old age and eventually death.


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