Five Elements

I did another five element acupuncture [2] treatment today, and continue to be amazed of how effective it typically is – in this case deep and solid.

In the five element tradition, they treat people on body, mind and soul levels. For people in modern society, often with an emphasis on the soul level, or the spirit in their terminology. In my limited understanding of it, this seems to be related to the sense of being on one’s path, following ones Tao, and the guidance, passion, sense of fullness and courage that comes with that.


Since my teens, I have been quite sensitive to energies, and for each needle I tend to experience the shifts quite clearly – where the energy moves in my body, and the effects at the other levels as well.

During the treatment today, I wanted to explore this a little further – also to learn more about it, so I described the effects of each needle as I experienced it. It turned out that the energy movements I described corresponded with the meridians, in direction and path. And the shifts at the other levels also corresponded closely with the intention behind the needling and the description and names of the various points.


Experiencing the effects of the different energy locations on the body, in daily life and through acupuncture, it is easy for me to see how the whole system originated: through people’s immediate experience. There is nothing mysterious about it. We all have particular gifts and skills, some are natural and great cooks, others are great in soccer, and yet others have a sensitivity to these subtle energies.

TCM and Five Elements

All modalities have their strengths and weaknesses. Each one work well in some situations and for some people.

At the same time, I cannot help having a particular fondness for five elements acupuncture. And what I hear from students and practitioners are similar. Those who went to a TCM school often describe it as draining and not quite as interesting as they had thought. Those I know who went to a five element school describe it as profoundly life changing, deeply nourishing, and among the best things that ever happened to them.

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