What is Five Element Acupuncture and where does it come from?

FEA originates in the Daoist texts of Ancient China, written in the 6th century BC, and at its core is the necessity for human behaviour to be in accordance with the cycles of nature.  Everything in existence relies upon the natural cycles and rhythms of the world.

So the natural laws that govern the seasons also govern us and our existence – we are in essence one and everything.  And as the seasons change so should we, because if we disregard these natural laws and rhythms we create room for disease and illness to take hold.  Five Element Acupuncture works to bring us back to balance, and to synchronise us  with these cycles and the laws which dictate them. From this place of balance our bodies and minds have the best chance to heal themselves as they were made to do.

Is it different from other types of acupuncture?

Yes, FEA is not the same as the widely used Traditional Chinese Medicine.  TCM is  very effective for the treatment of physical symptoms such as back pain, but it does not address the root of the problem in the same way FEA does.  By targeting the root of the problem with FEA, not only would you expect to see a lessening of your main complaint, you would also expect to see an overall increase in your wellbeing and general health.  The theory goes that a fundamental imbalance within you creates many, not just one, of your problematic symptoms.  So your imbalance could cause both IBS and stiff joints, and both symptoms will be helped by treating the imbalance.  In doing so the person returns closer to overall balance and no new symptoms should appear.  It is very important to look for the cause – a particular imbalance in your energies – and not just the symptom if you want to stop the problems for good.

What are the Five Elements?


Wood represents our capacity to be born and grow and is associated with the season of spring; it rises up with vision and determination
 to realise the plan of growth and renewal. Wood gives us the structure
 and flexibility to create our lives with hope and optimism, overcoming 
obstacles and creating our path.


Fire gives us the capacity to warm and open and is associated with the season of summer. It gives us warmth, the
 capacity to love and to be loved. It enables us to mature and blossom 
and its function is to help us relate. Here we find our passion, our ability 
to feel joy in all our endeavours. Feeling emotionally protected by love we communicate 
with openness and honesty.


Earth gives us the capacity to receive and be satisfied and is associated with the season of late summer and a time of harvesting. This element 
gives us the ability to nurture ourselves and others. By feeling centred and grounded it enables us to understand ourselves and sympathise with others without losing our sense of self.


Metal gives us the capacity to see the quality and value of life and is associated with the season of autumn. It gives us our sense of self
 worth and a capacity to look at what lies beyond ourselves and the
 power to let go.


Water gives the capacity to find our inner power and deepest sense of self. It is associated with the season of winter, pausing in time to regenerate
 and gather strength. Water gives us the power to adapt and the will and drive to fulfil
 the potential given to us at birth.