The Five Elements

Wu Xing
in Classical Chinese Texts

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée continues her exploration of the key concepts of Chinese medicine and philosophy with a study of wuxing, the five elements, phases or movements. Guiding us through well chosen chapters of the Spring and Autumn Annals and its commentary, the Huainanzi,  and the medical texts of the Neijing Suwen, Elisabeth explains the development of these ancient ideas which provide such an important basis for zangfu theory within Chinese medicine.

This fascinating book traces the development of wuxing theory from its early beginnings – where we see the five elements in their literal sense, as the five materials necessary for survival on earth – to its incorporation into the sophisticated cosmological system of yinyang wuxing during the 2nd century BCE. The second part of the books explores the five elements as the basis of Chinese medical thinking.

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The theory of wu xing provides a link between phenomena and things which may be appear very different but which have a similar quality and movement of qi.

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
The Five Elements
pp 172 /   130mm x 197mm / rrp £12.50
ISBN 978 1 872468 14 3
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