There are many styles of acupuncture, and I have been fortunate in that I have been exposed to and trained in several of them. It gives me the confidence of having many tools in my toolbox. However, the main style that I practice is called Five Element acupuncture. This is a more westernized approach to the medicine that was brought from Asia by a British man named J.R. Worsley. He believed that modern illness is based in the emotional and spiritual aspects of human life. This is because most of us have plenty of food and water and safe shelter from the harsh elements outside. Therefore, illness in contemporary times mostly comes from internal causes such as anger, sadness, fear, worry or loneliness and lack of joy. While five element acupuncture does not ignore physical problems and symptoms, this type of treatment seeks to heal the underlying cause.
The Five Element philosophy is based upon the various Elements that are found in the natural world: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each element has co-correspondences that help a practitioner determine the Element’s relative balance or imbalance. When the elements are out of balance, symptoms and signs often occur.
Five Element Acupuncture practitioners focus on how the Elements are interacting with each other. In this system, each Element functions to create, support and control the others, keeping everything in balance. For example, a fire requires a certain amount of wood in order to create a decent flame. Too much wood can burn out of control, but not enough wood can leave you without enough flame to keep you warm.
By determining the main element that is out of balance, a Five Element practitioner uncovers the “Causative Factor,” or underlying cause of a person’s symptoms. Treatment is then focused on establishing harmony among the elements.
Many of my clients have feel that this kind of treatment helps them to feel more like themselves again. Also, using this style of acupuncture, I tend to use fewer needles than you may have seen on tv or experienced from previous practitioners. So if you are afraid of needles, please don’t let that stop you from experiencing this wonderful form of treatment.