I was asked for a title for my next seminar at the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Warwick on July 14th, and what I came up with quickly was “In the Footsteps of the Elements”. This is a direct reference to Peter Eckman’s book on the history of acupuncture in the West, “In the Footsteps of the Yellow Emperor”, but also represents very neatly what I think we do as five element acupuncturists. We try to trace the footprints the elements leave on all of us, and we do this because we hope that they will eventually lead us to the guardian element.
We categorize these footprints under the four heading of colour, sound, smell and emotion (I prefer the down-to-earth, Anglo-Saxon word smell to odour, but that is a personal preference). Yesterday, talking to some new graduates, I mentioned to their surprise that I see an element as imprinting its colour not only on to areas of the face, but over the body as a whole, as it penetrates deep within each cell. If you can’t see colour on the face, then, learn to look carefully at whatever area of the body is exposed as you needle (abdomen, legs or back, for example). Use the skin colour of your own hands as a reference point to help you here. You may be surprised to see how strongly your own element’s colour stands out on your skin when placed against that of another element. My hands, for example, take on a much deeper red colour when seen against the skin of the other four elements, whilst they seem to tone in easily with the colouring of other Fire people.
This is my diagnostic tip for today.