is a treatment like and how does it work?
Happens in the Initial Exam?
What About Follow Up Treatments?
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
How Much Does It Cost?
What About Herbs?
What Kind of Nutritional Consultation is Offered?
The 5 Elements
5 Element Acupuncture is drawn from the ancient wisdom of Chinese
medicine. Its reliance
on the laws of nature and its ability to reach all levels of
illness body, mind and spirit set it apart from
other systems of medicine.
Chinese medicine it is recognized that the essential ingredient
of life is "QI," the vital force that controls the function of
all organs and systems in the body. QI is the spark of life in
all living things. QI is the basis for and can be recognized
ancient Chinese masters observed that QI moves in cycles and
they named these cycles the "Wu Hsing" or 5 Great Changes. These
5 phases of the journey of QI became known as the five elements:
fire, earth, metal, water and wood. These five elements describe
the characteristics of QI as it moves through seasons and lifetimes
and as it manifests on a day to day level in nature and in
nature is healthy Qi is flowing through its 5 phases in balance
and harmony. When one of the elements is depleted or excessive
in strength, the symptoms of illness result. Without water or
sunshine the tree will wither and die. Without rich earth, full
of minerals, no plants will grow. When the rain is excessive
the earth is flooded and life is washed away. So it is with the
human body. When Qi flows in the correct strength and quality
we are healthy. In illness the flow of Qi is impaired.
Element Acupuncture asserts that every person is born with a
propensity to an imbalance in one of the 5 elements. This imbalance
manifests primarily in the body, the mind or the spirit and becomes
the root cause of an illness. Because body, mind and spirit are
inseparable and the 5 elements are
all interdependent, this root imbalance will eventually show
symptoms at any of the levels and in many of the elements.
key to diagnosis in Classical 5 Element Acupuncture is discerning
the root imbalance, (what we call the causative factor). Each
element has a corresponding color, sound, odor and emotion
that can be perceived when that element is out of balance. The
5 Element practitioner is trained to see, hear, smell and feel
these signs of elemental imbalance and to perceive the level
at which the imbalance is rooted.
person is unique. Even though people's symptoms may be similar
each person's causative factor is unique to them and the treatment
is based on the individual need of each person.
points are located on the energy pathways called meridians. By
using needles and moxabustion on selected points the practitioner
can directly effect the flow and quality of QI.
that are as thin as a hair are gently inserted into points that
are chosen based on the patient's needs at the time of the treatment.
The needles are high quality stainless steel. They are sterile
and disposable, thrown away after each treatment.
of the needles can draw energy to an area that is deficient and
disperse energy that is stuck. Sensations felt may vary between
a mild sharpness on insertion to a brief ache or twingeness.
This is usually followed by a sense of well being and relaxation
as the QI is stimulated. I often tell my patients, "Acupuncture
is pain free but not sensation free." People invariably come
to associate the sensation of needling with feeling better and
a special herb called Chinese Mugwort is used to heat the point
prior to needling. This process is called moxabustion moxa
for short. We refer to it as "warming the house before the guest
small cone of moxa is placed on the point, lit, allowed to burn,
and when the warmth is felt, removed. Moxa strengthens and revitalizes
the QI as well as restoring balance. Patients grow to love Moxa
because it is so nurturing. It gives the sensation of being filled
with warmth and strength.
first visit to a Classical 5 Element acupuncturist is our opportunity
to get to know the patient well enough to make an accurate diagnosis.
It is up to two hours long and includes an interview and treatment.
The interview will cover a patient's medical history, current
complaint and a brief personal history. The Chinese pulses are
taken which give the practitioner information about the state
of the QI and reveals any energy blocks.
causative factor, based on the patient's color, sound, odor
and emotion, is more accurately determined when the practitioner
and patient have time to form a comfortable connection. It is
requested that patients wear no make-up or scent when coming
for a treatment.
up treatments are approximately an hour long. The patient has
time to talk about what has been happening since the last visit.
We discuss how they are doing on all levels and what is going
on in their lives. This is essential information for the practitioner
because treatment is always based on the current situation of
body, mind and spirit. Pulses are taken at each treatment. Suggestions
about possible nutritional or lifestyle changes that would support
healing are discussed throughout.
works best when done consistently until the patient is feeling
better. This will vary depending on the duration and severity
of the illness and the lifestyle and other factors that are contributing
treatments are given once a week for 6 to 8 weeks and then spread
to 2 weeks, 3 weeks and a month as healing progress is made.
Once health is regained a program of maintenance is decided.
Classical 5 Element Acupuncture is a preventative system of medicine
as well as curative and it is recommended that patients come
in for periodic tune-ups. The pulses can often reveal if anything
is going wrong even before it manifests as symptoms. Most of
us take our cars in for regular maintenance our bodies
and health being our greatest investment should not receive
any less care.
first visit, (2 hours), Costs: $130
Visits are: $80
cancellation policy is: 24 hours notice is required to cancel
or change an appointment. As I book a full hour for each patient,
the missed appointment cost is the full fee of $80. Exceptions
are made in emergency situations.
and nutritional supplements are additional.
The Chinese herbal system is a time
tested and elegant system. Herbal prescriptions are based on
a Chinese medicine diagnosis that treats the root of the problem,
not just symptoms. The Chinese herbal masters developed hundreds
of classical formulas where the herbs balance, support and strengthen
each other. Because of this side effects are rare. The herbs
I carry in my clinic are of the highest quality, organic and
quality controlled. They are available in capsule, pill or liquid
forms. My patients benefit from my 25 years of experience as
an herbalist. Herbal prescriptions are offered as an integral
part of most healing programs.
medicine is a form of clinical nutrition that emphasizes using
food as medicine. It was based,
originally, on the work of Linus Pauling, (well known for receiving
a Nobel Prize for his work with Vitamin C). Carried on by his
assistant, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, it has matured into a comprehensive
system of metabolic medicine. I have studied with Dr. Bland for
the last 10 years. In my clinic, I work with patients to support
their healing with good nutrition. I ask patients to do a food
journal, which we review together. I also make suggestions regarding
supplementation when needed.
gifts and powers of all the 5 elements are within each human
being. When healthy and in balance, we can utilize the energy
of each element as appropriate.
The season of Fire is summer, when the days are long and warm
and human connection is at its most expansive. The gifts
of Fire love and joy are heightened at this
time when nature blooms. The sense of community, freedom
and fun, enhance all our relationships. The future has
become real and our hopes and dreams are realized when
Fire is at a healthy glow. Communication and understanding
depends on the Fire element from which the emotion of Fire Joy grows.
The sound is laughter and the color, red. We give and receive
in equal measure when the Fire element is in balance.
Season of Earth is late summer, the time of bounty and harvest.
The nurturing energy and unconditional love of the mother is
found in this element. When Earth is strong we feel a relaxation
and a sense of security because we have stored enough to survive
the coming winter. Our connection to nature is alive and so we
feel at home anywhere we are. When spirit is rooted in healthy
soil we are fed by life and grow strong and vibrant. The emotion
of earth is sympathy, growing from the compassion of the mother.
The sound of the voice is singing like a mother singing to her
child and the color is yellow like golden wheat ready for harvest.
season of Metal is autumn a time of letting go of the
old so that we can take in the new. The leaves fall and decompose
enriching the soil so that new growth can come in spring. Metal
provides our connection to the heavens. As we inhale that spark
of energy that keeps us alive, we also breathe in the inspiration
and richness that keeps spirit strong. Our connection with the
father a source of wisdom and guidance comes from
Metal. When Metal is healthy, the inner divine spark is bright
and we value others and ourselves. The sound of Metal is weeping,
and the emotion is grief, as one would cry and feel when cut
off from that divine inspiration inside and we feel lost, adrift
at sea. The color is white the color of purity, like precious
season of water is winter when nature goes deep within. All seems
quiet on the surface but underneath life is restoring its reserves
and preparing for the tremendous surge of spring. Will and determination
are the hallmarks of water, its capacity to find ways around
all obstacles and its ability to flow are its gifts. The emotion
of water is fear, the worst fear is that of not having the reserves
to survive—the fear of no future. The sound is groaning
and the color, blue. Imagine the clear blue of glacial ice and
the sound it makes as it moves. Our inner reservoir cleanses,
lubricates and feeds us and keeps us flowing.
season of Wood is spring a time of birth, regeneration
and exuberance. When the vigorous and forceful upsurge of new
growth is blocked, it produces the emotion of Wood anger.
When Wood is strong, it has the power of clarity the ability
to have a vision for the future, to create a plan. Dynamic movement,
strength, flexibility and coordination come from this element like
a tree that bends in the wind, but doesn't break. Our promise
and hope for the future, our sense of purpose, and our ability
to make decisions, depend on Wood. The sound of Wood is shouting reflecting
that forceful energy of the element. The color is green as can
be found in all the wonderful variety of greens in nature.