What is “Classical Five-Element Acupuncture”?

This system of medicine views the symptoms of illness—whether physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual—as warning signs that your system is not functioning as an integrated whole. Harmony and balance depend on the smooth, uninterrupted flow of Chi or Qi, (pronounced “Chee” or “Key”). It is responsible for the proper functioning of all spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical processes and responses. The healing process involves the discovery and resolution of the cause–or root–of disharmony. The goal of treatment is the rebalancing of these systems.

The elements of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. These energetic functions are the foundation of this system of medicine and are present in the world around us. They describe the movement of life, from the changing of the seasons to the miraculous functions within our own body, mind, and spirit.

In Chinese Medicine, the organ systems are responsible for more than physiological functions and are sometimes referred to as “officials.” The officials govern the mind and spirit as well as the body through a system of correspondences.

Many times a “weakness” in one element is caused by a blockage between one elemental system and another. Just as lava creates earth, so a person’s earth element is fed by fire; therefore, an imbalance in the earth element may actually be caused by an imbalance in the fire, which is not feeding the earth. That’s one example of the holistic approach five-element acupuncturists use.

Although all Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture relies upon an understanding of the five elements, Classical Five-Element Acupuncturists employ a diagnostic system unique to their training.

You are a marvelous, complex system. The five elemental energies express the relative balance of yin and yang within you. Functions of your Body, Mind, and Spirit reflect the qualities of nature’s elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.