Classical Five Element Acupuncture

What is Classical Five Element Acupuncture?

Classical Five Element Acupuncture (CFEA) theory is deeply woven into the origins of Chinese medicine.  It is one of the oldest styles of acupuncture going back 2000 years.

In simple terms, CFEA differs from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in how it diagnoses the cause of disease and how the pulses are read to find the imbalances in the body.  It also looks for blocks in the flow of chi energy differently than TCM.  Less needles are used and the needles are rarely left in, but inserted in and out quickly.  Direct moxabustion is done on the acupuncture points prior to needle insertion.  Most people really love how relaxing and healing moxabustion smells and feels.

This system of acupuncture was brought to the West from China and taught by Professor J.R. Worsley (1923 – 2003), a British osteopathic physician and Master of Acupuncture.  He founded The College of Traditional Acupuncture, U.K. in Warwickshire, England and later brought an arm of the college in England to the United States.  There are now approximately four schools in the United States teaching this pure form of CFEA.

The Chinese, as strong observers of nature, believed that when our connection to nature is strong, we have better health. In Chinese medicine, the theory of the Five Elements is a philosophy that sees a person’s health in dynamic states or phases of constant change. CFEA differs from other the more commonly known TCM style of acupuncture in the way it diagnoses and treats illness according to what is called the Causative Factor (CF).

The goal of CFEA, according to ancient Taoism is to bring the body, mind and spirit into balance according to the elements of nature:  Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.  These five elements correspond to five seasons:  Winter, Spring, Summer, Late Summer and Fall.  Each element also corresponds to ten organs and two functions within the body.  CFEA stands apart from TCM in its effectiveness at treating the whole person on all levels simultaneously:  Body, Mind and Spirit.

Whatever element a person is, known as the “Causative Factor.”  The acupuncture meridians and organs associated with the element are where most of the acupuncture points will be used for treatment.  A person’s element is their core constitution that is acquired from birth to the first six months of life and it does not change over the course of their life.  Here is a short video about the Causative Factor.

If you wonder how effective this style of acupuncture is, please check out my patient reviews.

Chinese Body Clock

CFEA also looks for blocks in the flow of energy according to the Chinese Body Clock.

Chinese Body Clock

In Five Element theory, every human being has one true cause of disease that comes from the element that is most out of balance for them, that being the Causative Factor (CF). The Causative Factor is established from birth to the first six months of life.  Here is a short video about the Causative Factor.  Learn more about Five Element Acupuncture here.


About the Elements

The Earth element corresponds to the stomach and spleen, Metal to the colon and lungs, Fire to the heart, small intestine (and two functions, circulation/sex (heart protector) and triple heater (temperature regulator), Water to the bladder and kidneys, Wood to the gallbladder and liver.


Enjoy this short video about the five elements.


IClassical Five Element Acupuncture

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