Elizabeth Heffelfinger invites you to learn more about the Classical Five Element Acupuncture, including the guiding philosophy, the elements themselves and how the elements work together. Contact Elizabeth in Halifax to schedule an initial health and lifestyle review.
What is Classical Five Element Acupuncture?
The Classical Five Element Acupuncture (CFEA) technique is an ancient form of Chinese acupuncture which was rediscovered by an Englishman, Dr. J.R. Worsley. After extensive training with teachers in China, he returned to England where he practiced and eventually taught this elegant form of acupuncture for about 58 years before passing away in 2003.
This form of medicine treats the root cause of disease by addressing the elemental imbalance. As the imbalance is brought into balance, the symptoms experienced by the patient begin to lessen.
CFEA is particularly adept at addressing imbalances at the level of the mind, emotions and spirit, as well as the body. It is a holistic as well as therapeutic and preventative medicine.
PhilosophyAt one time, human beings lived in accord with nature and recognized their place within the context of the greater whole. CFEA reflects the wisdom of those ancient times and, in an up-to-date way, employs that wisdom in order help people reclaim the essence of health.
We are all made of all the elements, physically, emotionally and energetically. Much of the time, however, each of us is imbalanced primarily in one of the elements. This imbalance is known as the Causative Factor (CF) which, in turn, affects the balance (and symptomology) of all the other elements and their interrelations.
It is the job of the Classical Five Element Acupuncturist to diagnose the CF and treat that element in the patient. Then, because of the laws of nature at work in the patient, the other elements come into balance and symptomology lessens, or disappears entirely.
What are the elements? The elements are those found in nature, of which we are a part. They are
EARTH is the element which provides the sustenance and ground from which all is born. It represents the qualities of harvest, fruition and fulfillment within us. Earth is the mother of us all.
Characteristics of Earth: Late summer, nourishment and harvest, caring and nurturing, spleen and stomach health, sympathy and understanding.
METAL provides the richness and quality to all in nature. Metal is both the minerals and jewels of the earth and the pure qi of the air we breathe. Metal represents inspiration and vision; it is the father of us all.
Characteristics of Metal: Autumn, inspiration, self-worth and respect, taking in and letting go, lungs and colon health, grief.
WATER provides the deep undercurrent of fluidity in our lives. Water can run freely, run chaotically or it can be frozen solid. Since we are a part of nature, the water in us can move freely, promoting health and flexibility. It is that essential part of our being where we can find renewal.
Characteristics of Water: Winter, adaptability and willpower, potency and reserve, kidney and bladder health, fear and courage.
WOOD provides the energy to grow and move. Just like the grass in spring asserting itself, wood energy pushes through in order to establish its life force. Without wood energy, we wouldn’t be able to plan or start and develop new projects. Worse yet, our children would not have the energy to grow.
Characteristics of Wood: Spring, birth and growing, vision and planning, liver and gall bladder, anger and assertiveness.
FIRE is the element which provides the warmth and love that all humans experience. Like the sun, radiating its brightness and light to all, the fire element warms our body, mind and spirit. Because of the fire element, we can be touched, we can feel tenderness and we can extend compassion.
Characteristics of Fire: Summer, maturity and awareness, warmth and relationships, heart and circulation health, joy and love.
How the Elements Work Together
The ordinary magic of the five elements is that they work together by supporting and controlling each other, creating an environment that is naturally homeostatic and responsive. Not only are we capable of experiencing that responsive equilibrium within ourselves but it is our natural birthright as human beings!