Five Element acupuncture is rooted in observing the movement of energy through the five phases that are observable in all living systems. Although the word “Element” is used in the title of this system, it is actually a poor translation of the word “Xing”. Xing more correctly translates as “elemental phases or movements of energy”.
In any living system, energy moves through different phases as part of the normal process of maintaining homeostasis or health. Those states are: energy in its lowest state, energy increasing, energy reaching its highest state, energy stabilizing (neither increasing or decreasing), and finally energy decreasing to reach its lowest state to begin the cycle all over again.
In health, all metabolic processes move through these states so that the system can transform food, eliminate waste, maintain the appropriate temperature for cellular function, and so on.
These states of energy are found not only in the microsystem of the body but everywhere in nature. Every phenomenon in nature can be grouped into one of these five phases of energy. As an example, we can group cold, still, quiet, dark, winter, as reflecting energy in its lowest state. Similar correspondences can be drawn for each elemental phase and will include: colour, taste, season, material nature, organ, odour, sound, balanced emotion, unbalanced emotion and so on.
For ease of grouping, each phase of energy movement is named by a term that best reflects the natural phenomena that are grouped together. These are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.
From the Five Element theory point of view, every individual has a constitutional type that dominates the way the individual moves through their life’s journey. This constitutional type can reflect in health certain strengths and when out of balance, can reflect particular weaknesses.
A Five Element practitioner is always looking to bring their patient back into balance on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, as imbalances will present themselves in any one of these areas.
This system will use fewer needles and small amounts of moxibustion to correct the energy blocks or imbalances.