Five Elements

Five element acupuncture

Exeter five elementsThe most known texts that constitute to the five elements are: Nei jing consisting of the Su Wen and the Ling Shu and Nan Jing, the classics of difficulties (220-202BC). The five elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.

These elements describe qualities of energy found in nature. These energies interact with one another through universal laws. They are phases through which all things pass from their beginning to their end. Each element can be observed within the seasons in nature, and has connections to different organs of our body.

Five element acupuncture, diagnosis and treatment is based upon an understanding that each one of us has a particular relationship with one or two elements, our dominant elements. This element can influence our behavioral patterns or predispose us to certain imbalances or disease. (See below for a list of common five element correspondences.)

 FIRE  EARTH  METAL  WATER  WOOD 
Yin Organ Heart/ pericardium Spleen Lung Kidney Liver
 Yang Organ Small Intestine Stomach Colon Bladder Gall Bladder
 Emotion Joy Worry Grief Fear Anger
 Taste Bitter Sweet Pungent Salty Sour
Smell   Scorched  Fragant Rotten Putrid Rancid

In practice this dominant element is often referred to as the patients constitutional factor, the pivotal element that provides balance to the other four elements.