Shen Diagram

Water Wood Fire Earth Metal/Air

The Shen cycle demonstrates that all life is created from Water

The Five Elements (& correspondences).... are fundamental to understanding the interaction of the meridians with each other and to our awareness of how our bodies are influenced by the seasons.

The 'Shen' cycle (see image above) depicts the cycle of life according to these Five Elements and demonstrates the continuity of the life cycle.

Earth Water Wood Fire Metal


Colour Yellow
Meridian Spleen & Stomach
Energetic Direction Central, upwards & downwards
Emotion Concentration, analysing & worry
Physical Muscles & four limbs
Imbalance Excessive worry, over-thinking, digestive problems, menstrual disorders
Balance Calmness of nature, ability to control worry


Colour Blue/Black
Meridian Kidney & Bladder
Energetic Direction Floating / suspended
Emotion Rejuvenates, governs the will/drive
Physical Bones
Imbalance Inability to relax, restless sleep, exhaustion, physical weakness
Balance Rested, driven, grounded


Colour Green
Meridian Liver & Gall Bladder
Energetic Direction Upwards & outwards
Emotion Decision making, anger/pent up emotion
Physical Provides the body with heat & stores the blood
Imbalance Excessive anger, inability to make decisions, migraines (one-sided headaches), joint pain
Balance Control, decisive


Colour Red
Meridian Heart & Small Intestine, Heart Protector & Triple Heater
Energetic Direction Radiates in all directions
Emotion Joy, fun
Physical Heart, blood & blood vessels
Imbalance Palpitations, stammering, sweating, anxiety
Balance Ability to communicate in all arenas, undisturbed sleep, sense of happiness


Colour White
Meridian Lung & Large Intestine
Energetic Direction Downwards & beneath the surface
Emotion Ability to 'let go' of emotion (grief)
Physical Lungs, skin
Imbalance Inability to let go, emotionally & physically; feelings of intrusion of boundaries
Balance Able to recognise & release emotions

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