The Chinese five element system is an ancient way of looking at the human body, human personalities, the environment and much more. Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are viewed as the primary natural elements.
The five elements theory is a system of correspondences and patterns, which include processes and functions of the body, mind and spirit. Each element is symbolically represented by Wood, Fire, Earth, Air/Metal and Water.
They should be understood as five phases and should not be thought of as elements in the literal sense.
This is a simple view to give you an idea of natural cycles that the body and the emotions evolves through, during various phases in a twelve month period.