Understanding Five Element Acupuncture

The five elements are associated with the seasons of Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Each element has many associations, including organs, meridians, and characteristics.  It is important to understand that each of us has all of the five elements within us.  Acupuncture helps us to keep them all in balance, resulting in better health.

We see the same types of imbalances in nature as we see in humans. For example, when there is a drought the earth can become dry, cracked and barren. We can see this in people too. People can become dry and brittle in their mind, body and spirit.

moxa handThe Fire element is associated with summer.  Fire is about relationships, love, laughter, joy and communication.  During the summer we may naturally feel more social and active.  It’s a time when nature has reached its peak growth.  The sun is hot and the days are long and full.


earthThe Earth element is associated with late summer.  Late summer is the time of the harvest.  We get to enjoy and take in our fruits of labor.  The farmers are harvesting their crops and animals are gathering food for the long winder ahead.  Earth is about nourishment, security and support.


metalThe Metal element is associated with autumn.  Autumn is a time of letting go, like the trees do.  As they let go of their leaves, the soil takes them in and becomes enriched with essential nutrients.  This process enriches the soil to prepare for new growth in the spring.  Life and death, letting go and taking in, is a natural cycle.


waterThe Water element is associated with winter.  Water is about will, determination and rest.  Nothing would live or grow without water.  Winter is the time of year to look inward and reflect, slow our pace, and protect our reserves that we gathered from the harvest for the busy growing season of spring.


woodThe Wood element is associated with Spring.  During the springtime, nature is bursting with activity and new life.  We’ve spent the Winter resting and being indoors and now we are ready to get out and get busy.  Wood is about action, birth, growth, vision and hope.