By AFEA member James Bartlett
Five Element Theory, or Wu Xing, is rooted in ancient Chinese history and came from this ancient peoples’ incredible understanding of how Nature works. By observing the way in which Nature creates life, nurtures life and then destroys life, gave them an insight into the same processes that take place within each one of us.
Each of the Five Elements we observe in Nature work constantly to generate the next element. For instance, the ashes created by the Fire become the Earth and the compressed nature of Earth becomes the Metal.
The best way to begin to understand the Five Elements is to observe them in Nature’s cycle – quite simply, the Seasons. Fire is the season of summer, Earth the season of late summer, Metal is the season of autumn, Water is the season of winter and Wood is the season of spring.
This beautiful system has inspired many teachings over the years, such as martial arts, Feng Shui, astrology and acupuncture.
By understanding the relationships of the Five Elements and how these elements create and influence the energy that flows through the meridians (energy lines) of the body, mind and spirit, a Five Element Acupuncturist has the potential to strengthen, calm and direct this life-force to restore the natural balance and harmony of the person coming for help.