To the Five Elements
To the Five Elements
What is "Five Element" acupuncture?
Observation and experience of nature is a major path to understanding people and illness in this form of medicine.
The differing qualities of qi expressed in the cycle of seasons serve as the model for understanding how the Five Elements manifest in a person. In this way, we deepen our understanding of how humanity is an integral part of nature and how the Five Elements are represented within the person.
Five Element Acupuncture is a very classical style firmly rooted in the Han dynasty. Treating the the root or underlying imbalance leads to an overall improvement in the patient's health. As diagnosis is based on signs rather than symptoms, we are able to make a diagnosis of dysfunction before symptoms arise. This is the recommendation in The Chinese Medical Classics where the emphasis is placed on balancing the Five Elements.
Ancient relics show that that the ancient peoples used sharpened stones, bamboo and animal bones to perform needling techniques. Today, we use sterile and disposable needles of various lengths and thicknesses depending upon the anatomy of the body. The most commonly used size is 1 inch in length.
Since the needles are long, fine, solid and soft, skilled manipulations are needed to insure the needles are inserted smoothly and precisely into the skin with little pain. We hold the needle using two hands freely, insert and remove quickly using a twirling or rotating technique. Extensive training and practice is needed to become skilled in needle manipulation.
Moxibustion is a warming technique that uses moxa made from dried mugwort. It is generally used indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or put directly on the skin.
When the needle is inserted, we look for the appearance of needling sensation. This is called deqi, literally, 'the arrival of qi". The patient may feel a dull ache or heaviness, tingling around the needle or qi traveling up or down the affected meridian. The needling sensation differs from person to person and pain is not an expected response to stimulation, though certain acupuncture points may involve some occasional pain.