When you think of your health, what do you think of? A nagging backache or indigestion? Frequent sinus infections that necessitate you to call in sick way too often? Anxiety? Depression?
We all have the desire to be cured of our problems. Through the course of a normal life, everyone experiences health issues. Whether it is migraines, bellyaches, or backaches we feel that our lives would be so much more enjoyable without these annoying discomforts. Health anxiety often shifts with physical symptoms. The ailments that occupied our thoughts and distracted us 10 years ago, may have been replaced by new ones that seem to be more pressing and serious.
Our health need not be measured solely by the absence of symptoms, rather by our progress along life’s journey. Physical health is important, but is only part of the picture. Total health is a composite, comprised of many mental, physical and spiritual factors.
The phrases: “holistic health” and “body, mind and spirit” have become popular in our culture. Yet people still tend to identify with ailments and diagnoses that their doctors give them.
Five Element Acupuncture is a specific style of acupuncture which encompasses a complex system of examination, diagnosis and treatment. My patients typically come in for the treatment of a physical problem. It could be a headache, a reproductive issue or chronic pain. Many come with structural issues that affect their posture, alignment and movement. Some come with neurological problems including cerebral palsy, neuropathy or Parkinson’s. While these issues are what brings them through the door, there are often more profound underlying weaknesses that fuel these symptoms and undermine their progress in life. It is my intention to uncover these underlying factors and treat them.
The first appointment includes a comprehensive interview, examination and evaluation. I want to know about the past, the important intersections in my patient’s journey and how it’s been for them to navigate life’s challenges. The physical history is important as well, but only part of the picture. I want to know what makes them tick, what motivates them. I am interested in their hopes and dreams.
While listening to their story, I am looking for clues about their constitution. I observe the color or hue of their skin, the resonance of their voice, and the emotional quality they exude. I am searching for what lies beneath the surface, the fundamental aspects of their constitution which bring me closer to an understanding of their essence. This understanding is referred to by Five Element Acupuncturists as the “causative factor.” At the time of birth, every human being receives a unique energetic balance or relationship between the elements. I search for the one element that reflects both their greatest strengths and weaknesses.
The meridians are the energetic guardians of our health. Each meridian has particular responsibilities in keeping us well. When the meridian system is healthy, energy flows freely. When a meridian falls out of balance, its energy can become excessive or inadequate. Meridians can also become blocked – the energy does not flow through them – a sign of great struggle and a pattern of immobility.
In health, energy flows evenly through the system. Each meridian and organ is sharing the responsibility of keeping us well.
Our human health is intimately related to nature and it’s cycles of change. Every day, each meridian enjoys a two-hour peak on the Chinese clock. At the end of each two-hour segment, the energy transfers from one meridian to the next. Do you wake up each night at 3AM? You could have an energetic block between the liver and lung meridian. As the seasons change, the body also goes through a cycle of change. Do you become ill each year in late summer as autumn approaches? You may be struggling with the transition from fire to earth. The Five Element Acupuncturist removes energetic blocks, eases transitions and reestablishes a smooth balanced flow of Qi.
A way of life that honors the whole person does not segment the body, mind and heart. Five Element Acupuncture engages the whole person and in doing so reaches for total health.