Five Element acupuncture is a classical system of acupuncture that realigns us with nature. It corresponds our physical body, mental thought processes and emotional health with the seasons, and states that if we are in harmony with nature then no disease can take root. This particular style of acupuncture has a strong connection to psychology and focuses on the mental/emotional aspect of health. In Five Element acupuncture, we use fewer needles and the practitioner is working directly with the patient for the entire length of the treatment. This method of acupuncture is the perfect choice for people who suffer from anxiety, depression or other common emotional issues that require more time and personal attention. Below is a detailed discussion of how Five Element acupuncture works and a brief history of the medicine.



5E acupuncture improves the mental states by harmonizing body and mind in the past and present


5E acupuncture accesses complex behavior problems and helps reduce outbursts


5E acupuncture uses minimal needles which helps sensitive people feel safe


5E initial sessions are two hours which allows for highly complex cases discussions

There are five elements, and each element is associated with a season: fire – summer, earth – late summer, metal – autumn, water – winter and wood – spring. Each element is also associated with a color, odor, sound, emotion and many other “correspondences” that help the practitioner determine which elements are out of balance when illness exists. The key to Five Element acupuncture is using behavioral psychology and our five senses to determine which element started the imbalance. This starter element is referred to as the “causative factor”, and is the main target of Five Element treatments. Treating the causative factor will restore balance to the body and prevent disease.

Five Element acupuncture is very old and dates back to the Chinese philosopher Tsou Yen approximately 300-400 BC. This is in contrast to the more modern style of acupuncture currently taught in most Chinese medical schools in the U.S., known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is the result of the standardization of Chinese medicine during the rise of communism in China in the 1950s. This standardization made it possible to teach acupuncture and Chinese medicine on a mass scale in schools instead of the traditional master/apprentice approach. It also combined many family lineages into one system. Further, TCM modernized acupuncture and Chinese medicine in a way that could be understood by western medical physicians. This; however, diminished its focus on the mental/emotional aspect of a person because it was difficult to translate “the spirit” into something equivalent in western medicine. The “spirit of the points” was still very much embraced in Five Element acupuncture theory in classical texts.

People today do not suffer from famine, war and poverty to the same extent as our ancient predecessors. Most modern diseases come from stress, the stagnation of our minds and the suppression of our emotions. This makes Five Element acupuncture a particularly good approach for treating health problems in today’s society.