Classical Acupuncture (Five-Element)

Five element theory is one of the major systems of thought within Chinese medicine. From a historical perspective it is an important underpinning of medical theory and serves as one of the major diagnostic and treatment protocols. In modern clinical practice the five element theory is used in varying degrees depending on the practitioner and style of acupuncture that they practice. For practitioners or Traditional Chinese Medicine, the theory may be used to help form a diagnosis when there is conflicting signs and symptoms. Additionally, elements of the theory are useful for assisting patients with nutritional balancing and/or working through emotional issues. The theory is used extensively by Japanese acupuncturists within the five phase treatment protocols and by Classical five element practitioners, such as those who follow the teachings of the late J.R. Worsley. The initial consultation with a patient is usually a one to two hour meeting where a thorough history of the patient is taken. Each of the elements are tested, the person questioned, listened to and observed. Physical routines are noted; sleep, appetite, alcohol intake is all looked at as a part of an extensive list. The colour of their face, the sound of their voice, their odour is all observed. What colour comes up on their face through which questions? What is their body language telling you? How do they answer the questions? Which of the elements do they feel most at home in or do they respond to as you portray. Everything is information, it is an opportunity to get a feel for the person as a whole.

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