Introduction to the Six Environmental Factors that Can Cause Imbalances

Introduction to the Six Environmental Factors that Can Cause Imbalances

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the environment and season around us has a strong influence on our health. This is an introductory overview of the 6 Environmental Factors in TCM that influence your health.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), disease and illness comes from an imbalance of external or internal states, or an external force acting on our body (e.g. traumatic injuries, bug bites). External imbalances comes from the “6 Climactic Factors,” which are:

  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Damp
  • Summer-Heat
  • Dryness
  • Wind

Generally, each of these factors are associated with both a season and an organ, meaning that the factor is more prevalent in a season and the organ is more susceptible to the external factor. For example:

  • Summer strongly influences the Heart due to Heat
  • Fall strongly influences the Lung due to Dryness
  • Winter strongly influences the Kidneys due to Cold
  • Spring strongly influences the Liver due to Wind

And between seasons is what we associate with the element of Earth, which corresponds to our digestion that is governed by the Spleen and Stomach which is prone to Dampness. Because the Earth is present in all seasons, it is believed that digestion is integral to your health at all times.

This is a broad overview of how the 6 climactic factors can influence your body and health. Subsequent articles will cover details on each environmental factor.