The ancient Taoist, by observing and contemplating the working of the universe, devised a theory to explain the balance of the complementary and antagonistic units of which it is composed. The characteristics and relationships of these dynamic units are explained in the Theory of the Five Elements.
There are two cycles that illustrate the interaction between these elements: the cycle of generation, in which each element generates or produces the succeeding element, and the cycle of destruction, in which each element destroys or absorbs the succeeding element.
Because the universe maintains balance through the interplay of the Five Elements, our bodies, a microcosm of the universe, are thought to achieve mental and physical harmony in the same way.
Energy flows through the body via the meridians and their respective organs and bowels in well-defined cycles. The cycles depicting the flow of the energy within the body mirror the two cycles that depict the interaction between the five elements