When speaking about how acupuncture works to create health I often speak in terms of “creating balance”. Sometimes I use the scientific term “homeostasis”. Certainly the idea of being balanced sounds desirable to most people- no one wants to be running around out of balance, after all. But behind these fancy terms lives specific concepts that are the very heart of authentic Classical Acupuncture.
The balance I want to speak of today is one that is described in Chinese as “wu xing”. The term “wu xing” is sometimes translated as “Five Elements”, but frankly that’s not a particularly accurate translation. Instead I prefer the term “Five Phases”.
The five phases are given the poetic labels wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These labels are metaphors which describe the characteristics of each phase. The labels also hint at how the different phases interact with each other.
In the body, each of these five phases correspond to certain organs, tissues, senses, emotions, acupuncture channels, states of mind, and functions. All physical, mental, and emotional symptoms you have ever experienced are an expression of some particular imbalance in the five phases.
To a practitioner trained in Classical Acupuncture (Classical Chinese Medicine), the entire symptom picture a patient is clinically significant. It describes how the five phases are, or are not, balanced in that person. Acupuncture is then used to correct these imbalances. With the imbalances removed, symptoms fade and health can return.
Would you like to know more about your particular imbalances in the five phases? Ask about it at your next appointment. To schedule an appointment call 919-228-8448, or use our online scheduling system.