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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.

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 imbalance and illness.



Elizabeth Heffelfinger's skill is used to discover the causative factor (CF) of the elemental imbalance and encourage it back to balance through Acupuncture treatment.
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The Elements

It is said that 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 of all the other elements and their interrelations. As a result, we experience symptoms of illness or distress of some kind.

It is the job of the 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.

The Five Elements are:

earth, metal, water, wood and fire.

EARTH is the element that 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.

Man holding potatos

METAL provides 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.

a young girl holding a little stone

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 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.

fingers holding seed over dirt with sprout

Characteristics of WOOD: SPRING, birth and growing, vision and planning, liver and gall bladder, anger and assertiveness.

FIRE is the element that 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.

Group is enjoying with bornfire.

Characteristics of FIRE: SUMMER, maturity, and awareness, warmth and relationships, heart and circulation health, joy and love.

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> Classical Five Element Acupuncture


        The Elements

        How the Elements Work Together

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Elements Chart
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