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Calm, Thoughtful, Listen Closely

It is difficult to sum up the impact you have made on me. Always calm, thoughtful and with an incredible power to listen closely. 

- Jim in LA, California

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Wonderful Treatment

Thanks for the wonderful treatment today Elizabeth. I feel like myself again :)

- Kate in Halifax, NS

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Really Appreciate It

Just wanted to thank you again for all you did for me during the holidays – I really appreciate it! So after that last day of acupuncture you did on me, my ear was still vibrating a bit, but then it stopped and hasn't bothered me since! My trip was fantastic and carefree!

- Michael in Halifax, NS

Experienced Acupuncture Treatments in Halifax

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.


At 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.

  • CFEA treats the body, mind and spirit of the individual.
  • CFEA treatment relies on the innate wisdom of nature in order to assist the patient. Through treatment, the practitioner helps the patient recover his/her own innate health.
  • CFEA sees that the natural rhythms and cycles of the world are also happening within us. We have weather and seasons, just like the world we live in.
  • CFEA practitioners have been trained to “read” the rhythms and cycles in their patients in order to diagnose and treat any imbalance and illness.

The Five Elements are a way of describing the various qualities and phases we experience in our ceaselessly changing world and life. Just as the seasons change one into another, we also experience the vivid kaleidoscope of color, tone and feeling. There is natural order and interdependence to this dance and when one element is compromised, for whatever reason, the elegance of the dance is thrown off.

Together with her patients, Elizabeth Heffelfinger discovers the causative factor of the imbalance and brings it back to balance. Because all the elements are interdependent, resolving the causative factor will affect the whole of us, bringing harmony and health to the three levels of ourselves: body, mind and spirit.
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The Elements

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, metal, water, wood and fire.

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.

Acupuncture Services

> Classical Five Element Acupuncture


        The Elements

        How the Elements Work Together

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