Cultural Beliefs and Practices: Other Influences


General laws of opposing forces. Yin (female, negative energy, cold) and Yang (male, positive energy, hot). Illness results from imbalance of these forces. Foods are classified as “hot” and “cold”, and a proper balance is required to maintain health. Illnesses and treatments are also classified as hot and cold.

Five Elements

(McBride, et al., 1996)

Relationship of the elements of

  1. Wood
  2. Fire
  3. Earth
  4. Metal
  5. Water

Psychosomatic Integration

(Lee, 1997)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), organs are associated with various emotions and symbolic functions:

  • lung (worry)
  • gallbladder/liver (anger)
  • heart (happy)
  • kidney (fear)
  • spleen (desire)


Some Chinese elders may subscribe to the Buddhist concept of karma, the idea that individuals have a moral responsibility, and that each person’s deeds may have cause and effect. Simply, meritorious deeds and thoughts result in a good rebirth and evil deeds and thoughts lead to an unfavorable rebirth.

Taoism (“the Way”)