Five Element Acupuncture is a style of acupuncture that was synthesized by the late J.R. Worsley (1923-2003) and brought to the West in the late 20th century. Historically, Five Element theory began to take shape and become popular in the Song Dynasty (960-1279 C.E.). In Chinese Medicine and Chinese Cosmology, there are five primary elements, of which everything in the created world is composed of. The human being, as a microcosm of the universe, is also composed of these same elements. They are know as the Wu Xing, or Five Phases, and can be most easily identified in the changing seasons. They are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
In Five Element Acupuncture, the central philosophy is: of the Five Elements mentioned above, there is one that we are most profoundly connected with. Within us, all Five Elements are present, and either, quite early on in our lives or even before we were born, one of the Elements got knocked out of balance. This may have been from a traumatic or not so traumatic event. This Element that went out of balance becomes a filter which affects the way that we view, interact, love, and experience our lives and the world around us. This is known as the Causative Factor or Constitutional Factor (CF). With our main Element or CF, it often happens that beneath our greatest challenges lie our greatest strengths. Thus the goal of treatment is not only for the client to heal, but also to assist them in their own inner transformation from the pathological aspects of their CF Element into the virtue of their Element. So, as the Five Element Acupuncturist treats the CF of the patient, healing occurs from the inside out and can be quite profound because the treatment is by nature happening at a constitutional and fundamental level. As a practitioner of Five Element Acupuncture, it is my job not only to see what is out of balance and needs to be worked on, but also to witness the incredible beauty and virtuous essence that lies within the patient in front of me, and call forth that essence, assisting in its manifestation in the world.