Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine which has evolved over thousands of years and is widely practiced throughout the world today. It is used to treat and prevent disease and other imbalances of the body, mind and spirit.
Throughout history many different philosophies have influenced the development and practice of acupuncture. The most important of these are Daoism, yin and yang, the five elements, and eight principles. The laws of nature were observed everywhere from the vast universe to each individual living being. Acupuncture works with our “qi” which is the energy or vitality that keeps us alive. This qi travels through certain channels or meridians (pathways) that relate to different organs and systems in our body. Our qi can become weak and deficient, or excess and blocked. When this happens imbalances can occur and symptoms arise.
The most important aspect of acupuncture is that instead of focusing only on the symptom, the practitioner investigates and puts together a diagnosis of the root cause. This means that each treatment is individual specific and appropriate to that person at that particular time. Daoist thinker Chuang Tse (4th century BC) wrote:
Natures differ, and needs with them,
Hence the wise men of old
Did not lay down
One measure for all.
- FIRE . Summer.Heart & small intestine . Joy & elation, ceremony
- EARTH . Late summer . Stomach & spleen . Thoughtfulness and sincerity
- WATER . Winter . Kidney & bladder . Vigilance and wisdom
- WOOD . Spring . Liver & gall bladder . Assertion and benevolence
The Five Elements are the building blocks of our inner nature. Each of these elements is related to specific organs, times of day, seasons of the year, as well as certain colors, sounds, odors and emotions. The five elements work together to keep us healthy through the mother-child “sheng” cycle, and through the checks and balance “ke” cycle.
In the mystery of nature, neither promotion of growth (sheng) nor the control (ke) is dispensable. Without promotion of growth, there would be no development; without control, excessive growth would result in harm. – Ling Shu; Lui, 1988
When imbalance occurs it is important for the practitioner to diagnose the relationship between the five elements and identify the root cause of the imbalance, called the “causative factor” which is our authentic nature. By supporting the causative factor through treatment, balance can be restored and symptoms disappear.
Health is re-establishing proper relationships of Elements.
Dis-ease: As a five element practitioner, there are 3 ways to treat our patients: 12 officials, the channels, and sheng and ke cycles.