These differences in our genetic make-up are called our constitution. Our basic personality traits make us prone to certain types of disorders. For example, some of us are nervous and excitable and prone to anxiety and nervous disorders. These constitutional traits are due to the basic patterns of energy (qi) in our system. Over time, without doing anything to maintain our health, we will tend to drift out of balance in the direction of these general tendencies.
To further understand health, TCM further divides the way energy (qi) manifests itself into five phases or "elements." These five types of energy are symbolized by the physical forms of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.
Keeping our constitution in balance is the long term solution to maintaining health!