About Five Element
"If the body is sick the mind worries and the spirit grieves; if the mind is sick the body and the spirit will suffer from its confusion; if the spirit is sick there will be no will to care for the body or mind." J.R. Worsley
Five Element Theory, or Wu Xing, is rooted in ancient Chinese history and came from the ancient Chinese peoples’ incredible understanding of how Nature works. Observing how nature creates life, nurtures life and then destroys life gave them an insight into the same processes that take place within each one of us.
Each of the Five Elements we observe in Nature work constantly to generate the next element. For instance, the ashes created by the Fire become the Earth and the compressed nature of Earth becomes the Metal.
The best way to begin to understand the Five Elements is to observe them in Nature’s cycle – quite simply, the Seasons. Fire is the season of summer, Earth the season of late summer, Metal is the season of autumn, Water is the season of winter and Wood is the season of spring.
This beautiful system has inspired many teachings over the years, such as martial arts, Feng Shui, astrology and acupuncture.
By understanding the relationships of the Five Elements and how these elements create and influence the energy that flows through the meridians (energy lines) of the body, mind and spirit, a Five Element Acupuncturist has the tools to strengthen, calm and direct this life-force to restore the natural balance and harmony of the person coming for help.
Wood & Spring
The element of Wood is the energy of growth, change, vision and purpose. Its season is Spring, and you only have to look around at this time to see how nature shows us these powers. We also need these characteristics to be able to live a purposeful life. If we don’t grow, we stagnate and life doesn’t move forward. The Wood element gives us our life's plan and enables us to live our lives to that plan with hope and flexibility.
Fire & Summer
The element of Fire brings joy to our lives. Its season is Summer, and what better time to enjoy what life has to offer than in the heat that summer brings. Summer is a time of connection, relaxation and warmth. The Fire element gives us the capability to open up, to connect with others and give and receive love. If the Fire is missing from our lives, its a pretty dull and joyless experience. Fire gives our lives meaning and helps us to form close bonds with those we love.
Earth & Late Summer
The element of Earth brings us back to our centre. It grounds us and helps us to process all of the things that we have in our lives. The season associated with Earth is Late Summer, the time between Summer and Autumn where we take stock of what we have and prepare for the colder months. If we didn’t have this capability, we could end up unprepared and worried about our future. The Earth element nourishes us from the food and drink we consume, and stocks our storehouses ready for the Winter ahead.
Metal & Autumn
Metal is the element of bringing in and letting go. Autumn is the time of the Metal element. Just as the trees lose their leaves, we also have to decide what serves us and what we can let go of. Without this ability, we would end up longing for things that could’ve been, or clinging to things that are no good to us. Metal gives us the capability of establishing our true worth, and the worth of everything in our lives.
Water & Winter
Just as the year fades into stillness and hibernation, we also have the chance to reflect and to recharge ready for the next year. Winter is the season of the Water element, and during this time nature goes underground to get ready for the force of Spring. Water is in charge of our reserves of energy and keeps things flowing and clean throughout our mind, body and spirit. When our reserves are low, its a pretty scary place to be. A healthy Water element ensures that we have enough to keep us going in the next cycle of the seasons, and our lives.