About Five Elements Acupuncture

Classical Five Element Acupuncture is an ancient healing art that originated in China.  One could also substitute Season or Movement for the word Element.  The Spring energetic, which is referred to as WOOD is about order, plans and decisions, and being able to see clearly and make wise choices.  It is about new growth.  A Wood personality might be a leader or a judge.  An imbalance in the Wood Element may appear as migraine headaches, problems with tendons and ligaments, some vision issues, and menstrual problems in women.

After Spring/Wood we have Summer which is referred to as FIRE, (the season of the giant sun).  This is the time of year when there is maximum expansion and growth in the crops.  The sun shines it’s great energy equally and benevolently on both the emperor and the ant.  It’s see as a time of compassion and joy and relationships.  A Fire person is known to be compassionate and friendly.  An imbalance in the Fire Element may manifest as blood pressure problems, inability to regulate one’s body temperature, and difficulty in feeling joyful.

As the seasons or Elements move on, we come to the Late Summer, or the time of the EARTH.  The air grows heavy, there is a languid feeling, the pumpkin sits upon the earth and ripens and becomes sweet.  The crops are distributed. A person who is most like the Earth Element is nurturing and mothering. An Imbalance here may manifest as muscle issues such as fibromyalgia, digestive disorders, and difficulty regulating ones weight.

As the growing seasons of Spring, Summer and Late Summer end we come to Autumn which is called METAL in Five Element Acupuncture.  It is time to let go of the crops which were the material aspect of the seasons.  Now fruit rots and releases its seeds.  We go inward and contemplate spiritual matters.  A person who is predominately Metal is contained and has a sense of the Heavens.  Illnesses associated with a Metal imbalance include respiratory illnesses such as asthma, skin disorders and bowel problems including colitis.

Finally we come to Winter where the seeds go underground and the sap of the tree goes into the roots.  It is a quiet time of year.  We gather our energies and rest and hold the essence.  It takes great will to weather this cold season.  But as quiet as it appears it is loaded with potential and as soon as the sun once again rises in the sky making longer days, all that potential that was in the seed bursts out into Spring again.  A WATER person is known for their enduring drive and will.  An imbalance in Water may lead to back problems, kidney and bladder illnesses and difficulty in staying warm.

There are correspondences to each of the Elements/Season which in turn have correspondences to Meridians, the energetic pathways that run through our bodies.  The practitioner diagnoses a person based on their energetic and physical/emotional symptoms and chooses the appropriate acupuncture points to treat them to bring about balance and healing.