In Europe and in the Middle Ages, alchemists had tried to turn base metal to gold. They based their assumed model of how things work on the manipulation of earth, air, fire, water and wood. They believed that by using these elements that they could magically create different substances. As the European sciences started to advance this was proved to be nonsensical. As more knowledge became available about atomic structures, atoms and compounds, it was possible to predict how certain elements and compounds would react and what they would turn into. This analytical approach made redundant anything that the alchemists had done.
Then came in from the East a whole system, supposed to do incredible things but using as its model the same system that the alchemist had used. Obviously this was a nonsense because serious scientific scrutiny had dismissed this system. Unfortunately, some of the major properties of the system seemed to work. Some of the curative properties were attributed to the placebo effect but it was difficult to explain all of these by this. The trouble with people, both East and West, is that when they build 'ivory towers' to their subjects they find it very difficult to realise that what they know is not all that there is to know. So instead of investigating why things work, if things fall outside the range of knowledge, they simply dismiss it.
At the same time there were those who were investigating systems that were being used in ancient Northern Europe and Africa. There were many mysteries and very few answers but the two of these entities were linked. Both had in common the usage of the mysterious force 'Ki'.
So we have something, which has existed for a very long time, and it has been used by many societies throughout the ages. As for the concept of using earth, air, fire, water and wood as a model for your science this still seems to make no sense. No sense of course unless you add one major factor that is missing and that is the light. Light and its properties and its application to these elements begin to make this all make a little more sense. Study this concept and it may become far more apparent of how the system works.