The practice of Acupuncture began more than 3000 years ago in China when early practitioners observed patterns in nature and theorized that in all of nature is an underling cyclical flow of energy.  The tradition of Five Element Acupuncture is based on the understanding of this cyclical flow of energy- also known as Qi.  

The past few blogs have talked about the seasons of Late Summer and Autumn.  How do these relate to Acupuncture?  In all of nature we see five elements expressed.  They are FIRE (Summer Season), EARTH (Late Summer), METAL (Autumn), WATER (Winter) and WOOD (Spring).

The Five Elements

Each element exists within the other element and corresponding season.  The elements and seasons remind us that there is no beginning and no end to Qi energy, only change and transformation. However, one of the elements is manifested or expressed more strongly within us.  It is our strength and also where we are most vulnerable.  

A practitioner of Five Element Acupuncture looks for signs and symptoms that lead to a specific element. We listen to complaints or symptoms of imbalance.  The color on the face, the sound of the voice and the emotion they find themselves living in most are just a few of pieces of information that point to a specific element.  How one moves, the quality of our hair and skin, everything about us tells the story of where our imbalances lie.  Those imbalances cause our illnesses or “dis-ease.”  

The question is – Where are we getting stuck in the “flow”of life?  Is it on a physical level, mental, emotional or spirit level?  By Spirit we mean the stability within, our centeredness or groundedness, the health of our constitution. Do we have hope for our future or do we feel depleted by life?.

All of this information reflects the Yin and Yang of life-  The movement of Qi.

Sometimes we are more Yin, sometimes more Yang.  We are constantly changing.  We need a balance by living well: eating foods that nourish us, maintaining healthy relationships, exercising, getting enough sleep, and enjoying life.  All of these will help to support the smooth flow of Qi in our life to create a state of health and wellbeing.

Five Element Acupuncture 

Once a Five Element practitioner determines which element is out of balance, a treatment plan and selection of points follows.  The art of Acupuncture is knowing how to choose those points that will create the opening for that person.  Opening them to their best selves is the beginning of the healing process.  

These changes can be subtle and slow.  Nature moves slowly.  The seasons do not move from one to another overnight or in a few short days.  

Treatment is cumulative, and in the beginning weekly treatments are needed. 

As treatments progresses and improvements are seen, the time between treatments can be extended. Each of us are individuals and it’s difficult to know how many treatments will be needed. Ideally there will come a time when treatments will be just a “tuneup” or during the change of seasons, when we are all more vulnerable to changes in temperature and shifts in energy.

My task as a practitioner of five element acupuncture is to become attuned to the spirit of the elements. We work as experienced farmers do, correcting imbalances in the soil, responding to changes in the weather, abiding by the seasons. We learn from practice and cooperation with nature. This teaches the wisdom of how best to bring the crops to harvest.
As a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, I try to achieve the same kind of wisdom and work just as hard, in order to bring the body, mind and spirit of my patients to fullness  and maturity.
Sara Rodefeld is licensed to practice Acupuncture and as a Registered Nurse in Indiana and Tennessee.  Request an acupuncture appointment or call 317-818-1800 for more information.