Five Element Acupuncture
Five Element Acupuncture treats the whole of our being-body, mind and spirit. It is a system of medicine which is used in the restoration and maintenance of health as well as the prevention of illness. It is a very different type of medicine from what we have become accustomed to in the West, and can yield benefits we might never suspect.
Treating the Whole Person
In Chinese medicine any illness or symptom, whether it be knee pain, headache, indigestion, immune problems or severe depression, is seen as an imbalance in the energy. The inherent strength of Five Element Acupuncture is its ability to look at the whole, to heal physical symptoms without ignoring the underlying cause. Removing or suppressing symptoms without addressing their causes can simply force the imbalance to reappear elsewhere.
Causes of Illness
Chinese medicine recognizes that there are internal as well as external causes of disease and that they both have a role in affecting our health. The external causes of disease are the climatic extremes such as heat, wind, cold, dryness and dampness. The internal causes of disease arise from excessive emotions such as extreme and/or long-standing fear, anger or grief. Classical Five Element Acupuncture recognizes that many chronic illnesses arise out of long-term emotional stress, and so treats every level-body, mind, and spirit.
Five Element practitioners are trained to detect subtle signs of energetic imbalance. The sound of the voice, the color of the face and energy pulse readings are all indicators of harmony or imbalance. During the initial consultation, which lasts one and a half to two hours, the practitioner gathers this information along with facts about the patient’s medical history, his or her lifestyle and present state of health. All of this information is essential for determining the cause of the problem and the treatment that is required.
There are several aspects to treatment: the use of needles to balance and harmonize the energy, moxibustion to warm and build the energy, and herbal remedies to treat both acute and chronic illness. Sometimes changes in a patient’s lifestyle, such as diet and exercise, will be recommended to help support the benefits of treatment.
Responses to Treatment
The first changes that occur improve not only the main complaint but also the overall state of health. Patients may notice that they sleep better, feel more relaxed, and have more energy and vitality. These are all positive signs of a better energy balance. Every aspect of a person is affected by acupuncture and changes will take place physically, mentally and emotionally as balance is restored.
Duration and Frequency of Treatment
How long a person needs treatment depends on a variety of factors: the severity of the complaint, the length of its duration, the extent to which life-style contributes to it and what drugs are being taken for it. Some people need only a few treatments while others need prolonged attention. In the beginning, treatment is usually once a week and is decreased as the patient progresses. We aim to give the minimum number of treatments and we see our role as one of assisting nature to restore greater health.
Before beginning treatment we recommend that a patient come in for a short consultation. There is no charge for this. This consultation gives us an opportunity to assess if treatment will be helpful, and gives you an opportunity to meet us.
Acupuncture can be effective in treating a wide range of illnesses such as: