The Five Elements — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water — represent a central aspect of acupuncture’s ancient energetic tradition. Each of the Elements represents a distinct “quality” of the Qi energy as it cycles through nature and the seasons, and through our own lives and bodies. For example, the Fire element, is associated with qualities such as the warmth of summer, the color red, rising or expanding energy, joy, laughter and a scorched odor.
Each of the Elements has its own distinct associations, and each has an important role to play in everything we do, think and feel. The extent to which we live according to their natural laws is the extent to which we live in health.
When the energies of the Five Elements are functioning in harmony and balance within ourselves, we feel healthy, nourished and fully alive. When the elements move out of balance, we may feel a reduced sense of well-being, and we may develop symptoms of various sorts. Symptoms can and do show up at any level — not just in our body, but also in our mind, in our emotions or in our spirit.
Five Element Acupuncture practitioners are trained in the ancient and subtle energetic wisdom of the Five Elements in nature and in our bodies. They diagnose and treat by observing and following the laws and energy of the natural world. The Chinese call this energy “Qi or Chi” and have mapped out its flow through our bodies along specific pathways called meridians.
When Qi is full and flowing in our bodies, we experience health. When Qi is obstructed or imbalanced, illness and pain can occur. The symptoms we experience are signals that we need to restore balance. Acupuncture treatment helps us return to balance and, when appropriate, can be combined with medical treatments, psychotherapy, and lifestyle adjustments for optimum benefits.