The Five Elements

We may joke that here in the great northwest, there are only 2 seasons – rainy and not rainy.  As the seasons roll around, however, the difference between fall midsts and winter rain,  and spring showers becomes obvious. Truthfully, there are 5 seasons.  The seasons are the most obvious sign of energy shifting.  When we look a little closer we can see the qualities that are dominate in each season are expressed through out all of nature, including us.

Below are a few words on the quality of each element:

Winter/Water– The energy of water is powerful and resilient.  It can be as vibrant as a bubbling brook, as still as a deep lake, or as persistent as the rolling sea.  It can move around any obstacleIn us, water energy is the movement of fear and wisdom.  It is our great stillness that allows us to hear our own intuitions and sense of security as we embark on our own life journey.  

Spring/Wood–  The energy of wood is that of growth, determination, and vision.  It is that of a little seedling that pushes up through the ground, immediately striving towards the sun.  It can be as gracious as an old cedar tree, or as flexible as a bamboo stem blowing in the wind.  In us, this energy can feel like frustration or courage.  It is with our wood energy that gives us a clear vision of what is right.  It is about integrity and standing rooted in what we believe and making decisions from our own clarity.

Summer/Fire–  Fire is the energy of connection and transformation. Just as the sun coaxes the flower to bloom, fire energy can transform the efforts of growth into maturation.  It is the energy of the deep joy that emerges when we realize everything is connected.  This energy can be as easy as a sunny day on the beach, or as scorching as a forest fire.  In us fire is expressed as love, joy, intimacy or disconnection.  

Late Summer/Earth–  Earth energy is that of nourishment and processing.  We can feel thisenergy in late summer when the tree branches hang low from the weight of the juicy fruits, the harvest is full and the air feels saturated with the over-ripping of foods and flowers.  It is a slower moving energy than that of early summer.  We experience earth energy as giving sympathy and care to one another.  It is about making sure everyone is nourished in their bodies, minds and hearts.

Fall/Metal–  The energy of metal is that of letting go, reverence, grief and purity.  This energy is expressed as many things in nature end their life cycle and return to the earth.  During this time a stillness begins to emerge as the temperature starts to cool and things slow down.  With metal energy we can reflect on the past and give appreciation for all that has come.  

From Elements to Medicine

Knowledge of the elements is the foundation for 5 element acupuncture.  As a practitioner I assess how each of the elements are working within my patient.  From there I can determine if there are any energetic blocks, and what elements need to be balanced to restore vitality.  As each element becomes more in balance within us, our bodies, minds and emotions adjust to the new direction of the energy and we experience healing.