Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Elements

Still a bit unsure of where to begin, I will begin at the simplest level, with the elements.  I can't go wrong starting as simply as that.  In both Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, there are five basic elements.  In Ayurveda these are called the five great elements of:

Ether
Air 
Fire
Water
Earth

Ether can be considered to be Space.  It is the element in which all the other elements exist.
Air is not simply air, but can be thought of as the breath of life or vital life force.  It is also the element of movement.
Fire is the element of transformation and heat.  It is responsible for digestion, absorption, and assimilation.  And here, don't necessarily just think food, but the processing of emotions, and thoughts, and ideas.
Water is that which maintains life.  We are, after all, mostly water and it is in water that the other elements function.
Earth is structure and form.

Each of us carries a bit of each of these five elements in our basic make up.  According to Ayurveda, the different proportions of these elements within us are what make us each our individual selves.  It also helps to explain why a therapy should not be a 'one therapy fits all' idea.  Each of us responds differently, because we have different proportions of these elements in our make up.

For example, a person made up of a lot of ether and air is going to be a lighter and flightier individual and a therapy that might work for that person is probably not going to work as well for an individual who is made up of a lot of earth...a denser more grounded individual.

But maybe I am getting beyond myself here....

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