In traditional Chinese philosophy, natural phenomena can be classified into the or the Five Elements, also known as Five Phases, Five Steps, Five Cardinal Points, and Wu Xing in Chinese, which are (Note: the order of the elements is important):

• Metal (jīn)

• Wood (mù)

• Water (shuǐ)

• Fire (huǒ)

• Earth (tǔ)

In traditional Chinese philosophy, these elements are used for describing and understanding the interactions and relationships between phenomena.

Under this philosophy, the interactions and relationships are classified as either:

• Cycles of Balance: There are two Cycles of Balance: o a generating or creation (shēng) cycle, o an overcoming or destruction (kè) cycle.

• Cycles of Imbalance: There are two Cycles of Imbalance: o an overacting cycle (cheng), o an insulting cycle (wu).

According to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, each organ is associated with one of the Five Elements and there is a particular 4 hour period of each day during which the treatments for each particular organ of the body is most effective. The 4 hour periods occur throughout the day, beginning with 3 AM to 7 AM.

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