Classical Five Element Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves the use of very fine needles inserted in the body at specific points. This process serves to adjust and alter the body's energy flow and is used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health conditions.

Several forms of acupuncture are used around the world today. Classical Five Element Acupuncture (also called Five Element Acupuncture) is a modern school of acupuncture that has its roots in Japanese and Korean styles, in addition to ancient Chinese teachings. It was first brought to the U.S. in the 1960s. It is a highly personalized method of treatment.

The fundamental difference between Five Element Acupuncture and other systems of acupuncture is that a Five Element acupuncturist will treat the patient based on imbalances in the body, rather than treating specific symptoms or illnesses. Imbalances can be caused by internal factors such as emotions, external factors such as the environment and weather, and other factors such as injury and infections. Five Element Acupuncture is a complete system of healing, providing patients with an effective means of healing on all levels. It is one of the safest, most comprehensive and in-depth of all medical systems.

The Five Elements relate to the Chinese theory that the world and our bodies are made up of five main elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

Each element relates to one of five seasons, each with its own qualities:

  • Wood expresses the creativity and bursting forth of spring, the potential of the seeds to produce a future harvest, and the flexibility to sway and move in the wind.
  • Fire expresses the warmth of summer sunshine that feeds the new growth of spring. Fire is expressed in us as compassion, joy and love.
  • Earth is the quality of late-summer; mother earth nurturing and bringing fruition and harvest.
  • Metal expresses the autumn, when the trees shed their leaves and fall back to earth; a kind of cleansing. Metal clears out waste and toxins, not just in our body but also our spirit.
  • Water is the expression of winter. The rains and melting snow run down creeks and streams, seeping into the earth to the underground aquifers, which provide life sustaining water for the rest of the year.

The five elements are all interconnected. For instance, water controls fire, and earth generates metal. Every organ in the body is associated with one of the five elements. Five Element Acupuncture uses these five elements and their related organs to define and treat conditions.

Accurate diagnosis is the cornerstone of Five Element Acupuncture. Since this system recognizes that the health of each individual's body, mind and spirit must be taken into account to fully understand and treat the cause of disease, a Five Element acupuncturist will spend a significant amount of time with the patient during the first visit, and no two patients are treated the same.

There are several differences between Five Element Acupuncture and other acupuncture systems:

  • Classical Five Element Acupuncture focuses on treating the mind, body and spirit, not just the presenting symptoms.
  • Moxibustion—small cones of an herbal mixture of mugwort placed on the acupuncture point and lit—is generally used in Five Element Acupuncture treatments.
  • Finer needles are used than in other systems of acupuncture.
  • The needles are removed after a few seconds rather than left in for the whole treatment.
  • Usually the Five Element acupuncturist stays with the patient until the end of the treatment.

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