Acupuncture Decatur specializes in
165 Dekalb Industrial Way, Suite D
Decatur, GA 30030
5 ELEMENT OVERVIEW
The five elements are five main energies that naturally emerge from the One (Tao, Unity, God, Spirit, etc.). The best way to understand the origin of the five elements is to understand what "five" is on an energetic level, i.e., how it is a natural development of 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5.
If you want to skip this introduction and simply learn about the elements themselves, click here.
Originally, there was One. This can also be known as God, the Tao, Spirit, Unity, the Great Spirit, or any way of looking at the world as originating from Oneness.
Then, there were 2. Any way of looking at the world that includes polarity, i.e. this or that, yin or yang, etc., is part of the two-space. When 1 became 2, it didn't lose its Oneness. The Oneness remains deep inside the two, and you can access it by transcending two.
Then, there were 3 (you can see where this is going by now, right?). Any way of looking at the world as 3 is part of the three-space. Three-space can be defined as what naturally arises when in an intimate relationship (which is 2). It's no longer me and you (2). Now it's me, you and our relationship (3). Three is the number of creativity and dynamic interaction. It moves. Things happen quickly in three-space.
Then, there was 4. Four is now coming into more entrenched definition - it's no long the creative, dynamic movement of 3. Now life is solid, and it includes the process of making distinctions and naming things. This is a chair, which is distinctly different than a table (4). It's no longer one of the possibilities of something to place people or items on (3). Once you start to name things they've lost their fluidity. And with this comes the possiblity of loss and death.
Then, there was 5. Five is even more specific than 4, but is also less stable (and more dynamic) because it's an odd number. Five is all about inter-relationships (like 3) but in the larger venue of an ecology. It's your family dynamics. It's the reality of seeing how the destruction of the rainforests
affects world ecology. Eventually, it will affect all local
Five element medicine is concerned
with your inner ecology, the relationships within your body,
mind and spirit. Five element acupuncture, herbs and shiatsu
balance your inner world, helping everything to work together
in health and harmony.
The five elements create the seasons and
other aspects of nature, and they operate according to specific
natural laws. Their relationships with each other are intimate,
delicate, and precise. Five element acupuncture's knowledge
of how the elements relate and its techniques to balance them
makes it incredibly powerful - it excels at balancing your
unique inner ecosystem, creating health and wellness for your
The five elements are water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.
||Water is the
energy of winter, and it empowers you with
the wisdom to use your resources wisely. Your water element
is the source of your will to manifest your destiny, and
it is the seed of your potential. It gives you the capacity
to sink into the depths of silence, as well as the cleverness
needed to adapt and survive.
||Wood is the
energy of spring, and it imparts the vision,
perspective, and long range planning needed to achieve
your goals. Your wood element gives you the growth, creativity,
and flexibility required for forward movement and true
||Fire is the
energy of summer, and it helps you to fully
blossom into maturity. Your fire element provides the
warmth and safety needed to give and receive love, and
it helps you feel connected with the people around you.
The fire element’s joyful nature help you to celebrate
life to the fullest.
||Earth is the
energy of late summer, and it houses your
ability to have an intention. Your earth element nurtures,
mothers, and supports others for the sake of world service.
Your earth element’s empathetic nature allows you
to feel the pain and suffering of others with compassion.
||Metal is the
energy of autumn, and it helps you relinquish
attachments to the material world. Your metal element
receives the purity of heavenly qi as you breathe, and
helps you let go of the impurities you no longer need.
Your metal element defines how you assess the value of
others and of yourself.
In the subtle energetic realms that
interpenetrate the physical world, each element is constantly
transmitting its own frequency in service to the Tao (the
One, God, Spirit, etc.). Each element is singing its own song.
As the songs blend together and move into denser realms, creation
The elements physically manifest in ways that are characteristic
of their intrinsic natures. The aspects of earthly life associated
with each element are known as correspondences.
For instance, some of the water element correspondences include:
Can you feel how they all have the same
root and are energetically associated? These are four of the
"songs" of the water element. Naturally, each song
can have an almost infinite number of variations.
Five element masters observed that we each have a strong
affinity with one of the five elements from birth. We resonate
with one element primarily, continuously living in its energetic
world. The element you resonate with most is called your constitutional
Your c.f. is the source of your greatest virtues. The strengths
of that element are the root of your most prominent natural
gifts. Similarly, the ways in which that element becomes imbalanced
are the ways in which you become imbalanced, as well.
Your c.f. is the path through your greatest challenges, and
its virtues lead you to true healing and the realization of
your destiny. When you receive treatment on the meridians
associated with your c.f., your acupuncturist supports you
in transforming the deepest roots of any physical, emotional,
mental or spiritual illness.
||Liver, Gall Bladder
||Heart, Small Intestine, Heart Protector, Triple Warmer
The Laws of the Five Elements
The five elements manifest in known ways because they
follow natural laws. These natural laws determine how the
elements interact and their relationships. Here are a two
of the most important laws the five elements follow.
The Law of Mother and Child
As we see all around us, every healthy mother
nourishes and cares for its child. The same is true within
the five elements. While the elements mutually arise in the
subtle realms in a non-linear fashion, they also have specific
nurturing relationships with each other.
The Creative cycle is where we see the Law
of Mother-Child in action. Each element is considered the
"mother" of another element, and each element is
the "child" of another element. It looks like this:
the mother of Wood
Wood is the mother of Fire
Fire is the mother of Earth
Earth is the mother of Metal
Metal is the mother of Water
These relationships are evident
everywhere we look.
Wood is dry, brittle and inflexible.
Without Wood, Fire cannot burn.
Without Fire, Earth is wet, cold and barren.
Without Earth, Metal would not be able to
Without Metal, Water would be without its
important trace minerals.
The Law of Grandparent and
In cultures where extended families live
within a single home, grandparents and grandchildren relate
differently than is often seen today. In these cultures grandparents
provide boundaries and structure for children still too young
to be in school, while the parents are working to provide
for the family.
In this same way, the elements provide checks
and balances for each other. The Control cycle is where we
see the Law of Grandparent and Grandchild in action. Each
element is considered the "grandparent" of another
element, and each element is the "grandchild" of
another element. It looks like this:
Wood controls Earth
Fire controls Metal
Earth controls Water
Metal controls Wood
These relationships are evident
everywhere we look.
Fire runs rampant.
Without Wood, Earth is destabilized (think
of how tree roots help prevent mudslides).
Without Fire, Metal is cold and unmalleable.
Without Earth, Water would flow without boundaries.
Without Metal, Wood would be untamable.
The Human Spirit
Chinese medicine considers the spirit the defining
characteristic of the human being. It is what enables us to
bridge heaven and earth, embodying the highest virtues of
each, and integrating them within.
Five element medicine focuses on treating
the spirit, because it is considered the highest form of medicine.
Why? Because your spirit is the vital connection between you
and the Tao (the underlying universal law whose nature is
unity). Through deepening your relationship with the Tao,
you become more present and able to authentically respond
to each moment. Our bodies, hearts and minds naturally heal
with this type of treatment.
Many people find that their entire lives
change when they receive spirit level treatment. They are
able to open to their destinies in a new way, and they find
happiness and personal fulfillment.
A Little History
The first written document which mentions the five
elements in a medical context is the Yellow Emperor's Classic
of Internal Medicine (Nei Jing). This foundational work
was written in 100 B.C. and is studied by acupuncture students
of all traditions. Five Element theory is also evident within
the I Ching (Book of Changes), which was written as early
as 1100 B.C.
In the 1970's, J.R. Worsley brought five
element acupuncture to the United States. He described five
element acupuncture as the classical method of acupuncture
handed down by oral tradition from antiquity. To learn more
about him and the development of five element acupuncture,
read In the Footsteps of the Yellow Emperor by
Five Element Resources