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Five Elements & The Constitutional Acupuncture

Five Elements & The Constitutional Acupuncture
21 Mar 2016

Most of us know that the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine was founded around 3000 BC in Eastern Asia. One of the most important theories in TCM is that of yin & yang, which was developed via Naturalist and Daoist thinking during the time of Han dynasty. However, there is another primary principle that originated along with yin & yang and became a core factor for treating and diagnosing various diseases. This principle is that of the 5 elements, namely wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

According to Chinese traditions, the 5 elements are an important part of nature and form the energies of the annual seasons spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter. But in TCM, they also create the 12 primary meridians of acupuncture in our body. Each element is believed to constitute our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional make up.
 
The 5 elements combine to form what is regarded as a close and creative circle known as the Sheng cycle. In this cycle, each and every element passes on its energy to the next one - water makes wood, wood creates fire, fire gives birth to earth from its ashes, earth gives metal and natural metallic veins in the ground give rise to water springs.
 
In constitutional acupuncture, it is believed that the root cause of a patient’s symptoms hinges on a weakness that develops through infancy or early childhood. This weakness is called the constitutional element of a person. Its development obstructs the flow of energy within the body’s Sheng cycle. Many acupuncturist in Northern Beaches always try to determine this obstruction through extensive diagnosis involving careful interrogation and observation. The part of observation can include examination of skin complexion, voice, body odour and emotions.
 
Treatment is initiated as soon as the constitutional element or the obstruction to Sheng cycle has been determined successfully. During the session, the acupuncture points are usually tonified by inserting a needle at an angle of 15 degrees for supporting the meridian’s flow and then turned clockwise 180 degrees as soon as the Qi is reached, followed by immediate withdrawal. The overall treatment is completed in three basic stages - assessment and elimination of blocks in the path of Qi, selection and diagnosis of spirit points, and addressing of command points. The main objective of this treatment is to touch an individual at their core, enable him or her to change or grow, and strengthen their Sheng cycle, so that they can go back to leading a healthy life.

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