What a pity there are so few people now in this country or elsewhere in the world, it seems, who are just practising five element acupuncture as we were all taught it by JR Worsley. In other words, these are people who base their practice on directing all their efforts at strengthening one element which gives each person their particular direction in life. So many people now, it appears, mix this approach with all kinds of different add-ons, such as Japanese acupuncture, treatment of syndromes, herbs, Tuina or ear acupuncture. Each of these can have with their own quite valid approach to balancing a patient’s health, but, when added to treatment on the guardian element, dilutes what we are offering by confusing the elements. It’s a bit as though we are speaking one language with the elements, and then throw in the odd phrase in another language.
There are not many people now, it appears, who have the courage to attempt to
pinpoint a patient’s element and then simply strengthen it by working on points
on its officials. Perhaps it sounds too
simple just to concentrate on an element’s command points, with the occasional
spirit point added to strengthen it.
And, then again, practitioners are often in too much of a hurry to
achieve what is realistically much too quick a result, and reach too soon for
other tools, instead of waiting and letting the element chosen do its work
slowly and steadily.
The more we practise, the more we will find that we will be
quick to recognise the subtle changes which take place when a patient’s element
is fed with what it needs through its own points. It still amazes me how quickly some slight
thing about the patient will show an immediate, if sometimes tiny, response to
treatment which my senses can perceive in some way – a slight change of colour,
a relaxing of tension somewhere in the face, an easier relationship with
me. It is as though a different person
gradually emerges as they take the tiny steps which lead from imbalance to
So to any practitioner out there attempting to find their
way in the profound world of the elements, I will say again, as I have said
many times, learn to have the courage to rely on the patient’s element to
restore health, and give yourself enough time to find that element. Just because JR Worsley, with 50 years of
practice, could home in on an element very quickly doesn’t mean that we, who
have many less years’ experience, have to do the same. It always takes time and steady practice finally
to be satisfied that we have found that particular patient’s element. There is never any need for hurry. Patients are only impatient if they sense our
But to end this blog on an optimistic note, how good that there are now hundreds of practitioners in China eager to learn this approach to their practice. I was heartened to hear that one of our Chinese students, now practising five element acupuncture in a very large practice in Beijing, has so impressed people there with the amazing results she is achieving that they are very keen to find more five element practitioners to teach the other acupuncture practitioners there. So the East is now recognizing what the West has started to discard. It is a sad irony, but let us hope the East in its eagerness to attach itself again to its five element roots has again something to teach the West here.