Classical Five Element Acupuncture: What it is, history and benefits
Traditional Acupuncture was developed many thousands of years ago at a time when people readily understood their role as part of Nature’s greater plan.
They saw that their lives were subject to the same natural forces that created, sustained and at times destroyed their crops each year. They also understood the importance of personal destiny and their responsibility to maintain the gift of life. Acupuncture was developed to support the individual through this process of life, maintaining life and health, preventing illness and supporting one’s personal purpose.
Life is no different today. However, our approach to living, is.
For hundreds of years within the Western medical paradigm we have been taught to believe our health will somehow maintain itself and when it starts to fail only then will we seek support and ask others to ‘fix’ us. For most of us the miracle of the human body does exactly that and allows us to wait until we feel ‘broken’, often for many years while assuming that we will simply be fine and heal ourselves. Unfortunately in this model, often by the time disease takes hold, it can be too late to turn things around.
The Chinese believed the gift of a long and healthy life was available for all, provided we are agents in maintaining ourselves in body, mind and spirit in tune with nature and with respect for all aspects of our lives. This perspective puts our modern approach to health care into a new light. In order to all live long lives we must care for ourselves and use prevention in conjunction with cure, rather than the model where we ignore ourselves until we ‘break’ and then ask to be ‘fixed’. ‘Fixing’ often happens too late to help us thrive, or, more insidiously, perpetuates a pattern of breaking and fixing rather than one which favors progress and fulfillment.
The traditional and historical role of the acupuncturist is not part of the pattern of break and fix, it is to ‘care’ for the patient in the widest sense, to listen, to understand, to develop an authentic professional relationship, and then to interpret the entire experience into an intelligent and effective treatment that will take the person out of suffering, through health, and ultimately to thrive all the while preventing illness and disease. Classical Five Element Acupuncture works in the traditional model focused on a long and healthy life and supporting a person to thrive.
Classical Five Element Acupuncture
Classical Five Element Acupuncture originated in China well over 2000 years ago and has been passed down through time from Master to Student through teaching and practice. Combined they form an unbroken lineage which represents an astounding body of knowledge about the human being both in health and also when challenged.
Throughout the ages, individual masters of acupuncture developed their own styles of treatment, adding new ideas to the body of knowledge built up through time. Classical Five Element Acupuncture claims as its ancestors many masters of this mainly oral tradition and has found its way to Europe by pioneering people such as Jacques Lavier and J R Worsley.
At the heart of Classical Five Element Acupuncture is the belief that many physical ailments which people suffer from today are the product of emotional or spiritual distress as much as any physical cause. The aim of Classical Five Element Acupuncture is to isolate the cause of disease and support that weakness and for each individual to discover a greater sense of self, find lifetime tools to make changes and to live life as fully as possible. Health and longevity are the natural result of those who follow their true path.
Classical Five Element Acupuncture is a powerful healing discipline that uses nature and natural laws to support a person on all levels of health — physical, emotional and spiritual — reconnecting the person with nature and the body’s innate ability to heal.
The effect is not only relief from a specific condition or symptom, but also an improvement in overall health and well-being. Overall well-being is particularly relevant for those who either have progressed from a state of illness or for others who, while not feeling medically ill, are aware that they are unwell or out of sorts. People may benefit from treatment and the restoration of well-being without necessarily having a “named illness.” Treatment is individual, and takes into account the marvelous complexity and potential of each person; no two people undergo the same treatment while moving to their full potential and health.
How It Works
Chinese philosophy teaches that life energy, called Qi, or Chi, flows through the body in channels called meridians. When the Qi in the body is abundant, of good quality, and flowing freely, a person is healthy. When the Qi is weak or obstructed, a person becomes susceptible to disease. The symptoms of disease can manifest not only within the physical body, but also in our minds and spirits. Classical Five Element Acupuncture is a means of addressing the core condition of life energy and restoring its proper balance. Through treatment, symptoms can be alleviated and the cause of the problem pinpointed and corrected leading to a more permanent improvement than does treatment of the symptoms alone. Symptoms are distress signals that indicate that the energy is out of balance. By helping the person’s body, mind and spirit return to a point of balance and health, symptoms begin to drop away. It really can be as simple as that.
Classical Five Element Acupuncturists evaluate a person’s state of health through a wide range of diagnostic tools, including the reading of the six energy pulses in each wrist. Acupuncture points along the meridians are then used to balance the flow of energy. Energy is brought where it is needed and dispersed from blocked and congested areas to strengthen core imbalances and promote strength at the deepest level.
Traditionally, the role of the acupuncturist is to ‘care’ for the patient in the widest sense; to listen, to understand, to develop an authentic professional relationship, and then to interpret the entire experience into an intelligent and effective treatment that will take the person out of suffering through to their true potential. Classical Five Element Acupuncture has the effect of relief from specific conditions as well as improvements in overall well-being, including increased energy and vitality, decreased stress and better sleep. The goal of treatment is for each individual to live in health, discover a greater sense of self, find lifetime tools to make changes, and to live life as fully as possible.
Course of Treatment
Treatment is very focused on helping a person move from any illness or condition through to where they can discover their strengths and passions in life and therefore does not look to a problem or symptom to justify treatment. “I want to be the best I possibly can be,” is the request I hope for from most patients. Naturally, people also seek treatment due to a struggle, be it physical or mental and each person is considered individually.
Our initial appointment involves asking you about your main complaint and full health history. During this meeting, the acupuncturist will get to know your history, your current health, examine you physically and build an understanding of you and your individual goals for health. This appointment helps build a complete, holistic picture of your health and enables the provider to initiate a course of treatment that is specific to you and takes into account your symptoms and treatment goals, placing them into the context of your life. This treatment will last for about two hours.
Following the initial appointment, visits are typically once or twice a week in order to create an energy balance that can be maintained between treatments. As treatment continues, your energy balance will last for progressively longer periods of time as you move from imbalance thorough health on your way to your full potential. As you progress, treatments will be spaced further apart ultimately arriving at treatment once every change of season. After the initial treatment, subsequent treatments typically last 45 minutes to an hour, and occasionally a little longer depending on a person’s condition and progress.
Every individual is unique, as will be your response to treatment. Often, the initial improvements are in a person’s overall state of health. However, some people notice a marked improvement in their main complaint immediately. In addition, the length of time that the condition has been present and your lifestyle choices can be factors in the duration and frequency of treatment.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, approximately the thickness of a human hair, and have a flexible shaft. They are made from the finest quality surgical stainless steel and are pre-sterilized and discarded after each use. Acupuncture needles are designed to push cells apart rather than pierce any art of the body, and, unlike hollow hypodermic needles, they are solid and do not induce blood flow.
When the needle is inserted at a meridian point, the sensation you will feel is not the piercing of the skin, it is the needle making contact with the energy of the point. When the needle contacts the Qi in the meridian, the sensation has been described variously as a tug or burst of energy, a slight ache or electric current. CFEA needles generally are not left in for long periods of time and are removed within a moment or two of insertion. Any sensation felt lasts only briefly.
During treatment, Classical Five Element Acupuncturists use very few needles in order to interfere as little as possible with the natural movement of life energy. The average number of needles used in a treatment is between 3 and 5 pairs.
What Classical Five Element Acupuncture Treats
A wide variety of people come for treatment, ranging from children to the elderly, and many have found it extremely beneficial where other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful.
Conditions it particularly works well with include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia and tiredness
- Headaches and migraine
- Menstrual concerns
- Fertility problems
- Pregnancy care
- Birth support/inductions
- Post birth mother care
- Skin conditions and asthma
- Morning sickness
- Back pain and sciatica
- Digestive and bowel problems
- Hay fever and allergies
- High blood pressure
- Overall well-being
To set up an appointment for Classical Five Element Acupuncture, contact Newbridge today!