I have a reader of this blog, Sean, to thank for prompting me to write the following, in answer to his question about my treatment of a Wood patient: “I’d like to know why you choose AEPs of Wood, especially for an autumn seasonal treatment.”
The error here is in thinking that I was giving “autumn seasonal treatment” to this Wood patient. The only seasonal treatment I do is treating a patient’s guardian element in the season of that element, and with its own element points (for example, St 36 and Sp 3 (Earth points within the Earth officials) in late summer for an Earth patient). No other points, including therefore AEPs, have any connection with seasonal treatments, except of course that any treatment we do in an element's season will have that little extra effect because it is drawing on nature's contribution to that element.
I know some people give seasonal treatment for patients of other elements apart from the element whose season they are in. In other words, for a Fire patient they may give a Metal seasonal treatment, LI 1 and Lu 8. I do not do that, as I see it as unnecessarily moving away from the patient’s own element. An element in balance should be able to deal with any seasonal changes through strengthening treatment on its own points. But the guardian element is always under greater strain than any other element, and will feel this load particularly in its own season. This is why we try to help it by doubling up the support we are offering, in other words by adding more Metal to Metal in autumn, or more Wood to Wood in spring, which is what we are doing when we do seasonal treatments.
All this applies, of course, to horary treatments as well (treating a Water patient with Bl 66 and Ki 10 in Water time, between 3 and 7 pm). And to be able to do a seasonal treatment in horary time is said to be the best treatment of all (you are in effect trebling the amount of help you are giving an element). For logistical reasons, this is difficult to do for some elements (Wood and Metal in particular), since patients would have to come to our practices in the night. JR encouraged us to arrange for several patients to come together during these anti-social hours, which, as a good pupil, I started doing, until I realised that a few patients who had loyally turned up between 11 and 3 in the night for their Wood horary treatments turned out, with more treatment, not to be Wood after all! I have since, for obvious reasons, not least my own health, discontinued this practice.