The Five Elements
Elements are found all around us in nature (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and are also present in all living things.
Their presence is vital to good health and existence. Traditional Five Element Acupuncture works on the principle that these
elements are present in every person and that an imbalance in the natural flow of these energies is the underlying cause of
illness. This imbalance can consequently mean the inability for a person to reach an optimum level of health or the inability
to recover after an injury, trauma or illness.
The season of Fire is
summer, when the days are long and warm and human connection is at its most expansive. The gifts of Fire – love and
joy – are heightened at this time when nature blooms. The sense of community, freedom and fun, enhance all our relationships.
The future has become real and our hopes and dreams are realized when Fire is at a healthy glow. Communication and understanding
depends on the Fire element from which the emotion of Fire, Joy, grows. We give and receive in equal measure when the Fire
element is in balance.
The Season of Earth is late summer, the time of bounty and harvest. The
nurturing energy and unconditional love of the mother is found in this element. When Earth is strong we feel a relaxation
and a sense of security because we have stored enough to survive the coming winter. Our connection to nature is alive and
so we feel at home anywhere we are. When spirit is rooted in healthy soil we are fed by life and grow strong and vibrant.
The emotion of earth is sympathy, growing from the compassion of the mother.
The season of Metal is autumn – a time of letting go of the old so that we can take in the new. The
leaves fall and decompose enriching the soil so that new growth can come in spring. Metal provides our connection to the heavens.
As we inhale that spark of energy that keeps us alive, we also breathe in the inspiration and richness that keeps spirit strong.
Our connection with the father, a source of wisdom and guidance comes from Metal. When Metal is healthy, the inner divine
spark is bright and we value others and ourselves. The sound of Metal is weeping, and the emotion is grief, as one would cry
and feel when cut off from that divine inspiration inside and we feel lost, adrift at sea.
The season of water is winter when nature goes deep within. All seems quiet on the surface but underneath life is restoring
its reserves and preparing for the tremendous surge of spring. Will and determination are the hallmarks of water, its capacity
to find ways around all obstacles and its ability to flow are its gifts. The emotion of water is fear. The worst fear is that
of not having the reserves to survive, the fear of no future. Imagine the clear blue of glacial ice and the sound it makes
as it moves. Our inner reservoir cleanses, lubricates and feeds us and keeps us flowing.
The season of Wood is spring, a time of birth, regeneration and exuberance. When
the vigorous and forceful upsurge of new growth is blocked, it produces the emotion of Wood;
anger. When Wood is strong, it has the power of clarity
and the ability to have a vision for
the future, to create a plan. Dynamic movement, strength, flexibility and coordination come from this element – like
a tree that bends in the wind, but doesn't break. Our promise and hope for the future, our sense of purpose, and our ability
to make decisions, depend on Wood.