“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein
To get your head around what five element acupuncture is, and why is it so amazing, firstly, you need to understand the relationship between ‘Qi’ and ‘Yin Yang’.
To start, Qi (pronounced chi) is the universal vital force forming part of any living entity and Yin and yang (you would have seen the symbol!) is a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy.
Yin is the white swirl and Yang is the black one, the symbol represents how everything in nature is one. Yin and Yang are always opposite and the complementary forces together form a whole which constitutes a state of harmony and wellbeing. Yin Yang are continuously adjusting to one another (for example, day is yang and night is yin, a waves crest is yang and the trough is yin). Yang starts an action and the Yin receives it and Qi is the moving force that makes this change happen (hope thats clear!).
Yin and Yang split into what the Chinese call the Five Elements which represent the 5 phases of ‘Qi’ as it flows through nature and in our bodies. The Five elements have simple natural everyday names of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These elements represent the complete life cycle of any living being.
So, the Five Elements represent all the basic components of the universe and encompass the complete life cycle. It is a natural foundation that follows natural laws expressing the interactions and relationships between all things. Each element has its own characteristics and associations with different aspects of nature, such as direction, season, climate, colour etc.
When we think about the relationship between the five elements and us humans, each of the elements corresponds with a particular organ in our body. This is also the case for Yin Yang - there are six Yin and six Yang organs (that have both physical and emotional aspects and functions). Each main organ in our body has a meridian and this is where our Qi resides (picture it in your mind - flowing like a river) throughout our whole body in these Interconnected pathways. When all the Five Elements are in sync, the Qi is distributed equally ensuring the organs are functioning properly like a harmonious symphony.
“As the body regains its natural balance, wellbeing returns.” - J.R. Worsley
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Five Element tradition is its approach to treat the emotions. You might not realise it but a lot of physical symptoms actually have an emotional cause.
Five Element acupuncture provides a thorough understanding of the connections between body, mind, and spirit (emotions) in health and disease. To me, this is what differentiates this system of medicine from the western techniques, making it so powerful and profound.
Acupuncture has the power to treat a multitude of physical, mental and emotional issues, as each pain or symptom is linked to the mind, body and spirit. When the body is in complete harmony the pains and conditions are relieved as the body has reached an optimum state of wellbeing.
One important part of acupuncture is that it is a preventive treatment, this means you do not need to have anything wrong with you to have acupuncture; the desire to nourish your body, boost your energy and invest in your overall health is one of the key benefits of incorporating acupuncture into your whole lifestyle.
What is so fascinating about practising Five Element acupuncture is the complete uniqueness of each individual. No two days are ever the same, even if I am treating patients with the same symptom because it is all about the individual situation and circumstance.
My treatment approach is always to create a specific plan that will treat your underlying problem and your whole body to ensure you live your true full potential and individual fulfilment.