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ACUPUNCTURE AND THE FIVE

ELEMENTS

"When you touch one thing with deep awareness,
you touch everything.
"

 Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Acupuncture is an ancient and beautiful system of medicine. The earliest books about acupuncture were written 4,500 years ago in China. The ancient Chinese were keen observers of the most subtle movements of energy in nature. This orientation led them to a profound understanding of the complex and sophisticated nature of energy as the primary organizing principal for what later manifests as structure and function (anatomy and physiology, the basis of allopathic medicine). Acupuncture exquisitely addresses health from these fundamental, subtle perspectives.

The Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, – represent phases in the cyclical flow of life in the universe. They describe the evolutionary stages of life: gestation, birth, growth, maturity, decay, and death present in both momentary and life-long experience, both individually and in our relationship to family and society. They are most readily apparent in the cycle of the seasons.

Each human being is a complex and knowable microcosm of these greater forces. The Five Element approach provides a way to understand how our physical being, mind, emotions, and spirit manifest and move through these interdependent cycles. Perhaps most fundamentally it describes how we, as human beings, are capable of recovering the full depth and breadth of our original, fully awake nature.

The acupuncture practitioner assesses the balance of the five elements in a person’s vital energy as it follows 12 main pathways of energy, or meridians, in the body. The chronic over or under activity of any of these pathways caused by trauma, confusion, ignorant or willful transgression, or stress of any kind creates imbalance in the elements, disturbance in this flow of energy, and distress in the body, mind, or spirit. This distress gives rise to our symptoms of illness, everything from headaches to cancer. Acupuncture brings these energies back into balance, lessening or relieving the distress altogether.

News:

 
On March 16, I closed my practice until the covid-19 virus has passed. I will let people know here when I will begin seeing patients again. Until then, you can read about the generally agreed upon best practices for staying healthy and safe in my latest blog.
For latest updates on when my practice will open, see my blog entries.

 

IN GOOD HANDS

CLASSES

 

I have practiced this sophisticated medicine wholeheartedly for 30 years. In doing so, a depth of understanding and insight has unfolded that I could not have imagined was there. 

In 2020 and 2021, I will offer these courses for acupuncture practitioners. Remaining faithful to the classical Daoist five-element tradition, this material deepens our understanding and practice of every aspect of Five Element theory. I offer them as a series of four weekend classes meant to be taken together, in sequence. 

 

These courses are intended for all 5E acupuncturists, experienced and new. I also encourage acupuncturists and health care practitioners from other traditions to consider taking these courses should you want to become familiar with the Five Element paradigm. Contact me if you have questions. 

The FIVE ELEMENTS - Going Deeper
This live class has been canceled. In the next weeks, I will be filming it to present online
in shorter 4-6 ceu credit offerings. Stay tuned!
 

 

The Five Elements - Going Deeper integrates the Daoist and Buddhist five element paradigms. This class thoroughly presents the fundamental energetics of the elements as they arise in nature. It describes their dynamics as they embody and express the cyclical nature of life, the material we refer to most readily when we address physical, emotional, and spiritual distress in our patients.  And it discusses their wisdom - transformative - nature as revealed in the profound Tibetan Buddhist five wisdom teachings.

 

Each of these three lenses reveals unique insight into the nature and depth of the five element tradition. 

From them, we gain a clear and durable understanding of the five distinct core energies. We gain knowledge about how to work with them to manifest and maintain a healthy and balanced experience of self and life. We can look deeply at the nature and function of emotion and mind and the interplay between rational thought and non-rational emotional experience. From their wisdom aspect, we can map a path of growth from ego (me and mine) to manifesting our potential as fully awake conscious beings. 

This class is a foundation for the remaining classes offered here. 

one 2-day class for acupuncture practitioners; 14 NCCAOM pending core competency CEUs

PATHWAYS and POINTS - Treasury of Insight 
into the Five Elements
September 26 - 27 and November 14 - 15, 2020
Shelburne, Vermont

 

When we look at pathways and points, we move from a theoretical understanding of the five elements to an embodied one. The main acupuncture pathways and points reveal a sacred geometry of who and how we are: sentient beings with conscious awareness capable of manifesting our entire potential. And they do so in an astonishingly grounded, sophisticated, and complex manner. 

Researching and teaching this material changed the way I understand and work with pathways and points in my practice altogether. Since then, I have continued to coalesce a more fully integrated understanding of the core elemental energetics as both embodied and expressed through the pathways and points. I am very excited - thrilled! - to present an updated version of this course. 

This material will be presented through 2 weekend classes. Building on our understanding of the elements presented in the Going Deeper class, we will spend the first weekend looking at the body architecture of the 14 main pathways of energy. Then we will take a deep dive into the pathways and points of the water and fire elements.

 

The second weekend will be devoted to looking at the pathways and acupuncture points of the wood, metal, and earth elements as well as Conception and Governors vessels. In each weekend, we will discover how the pathways and points tell the 'story' of each pathway of energy, revealing new depths of understanding about the elements, who we are, and the nature of our potential.  

two 2-day classes for acupuncture practitioners; 28 NCCAOM pending core competency CEUs

The FIVE SENSES and the Nature and Function
of Sensory Experience
February 6 - 7, 2021
Shelburne, Vermont

When we have developed a working knowledge of the elements, the pathways of energy, and nature and function of acupuncture points, we can begin to approach a full understanding of sensory awareness.  As five element acupuncture practitioners, our five senses - to hear, see, taste, feel, and smell - are the diagnostic tools we use to identify constitutional nature. Sensory awareness - what is happening now - also provides continuous insight into the nature and function of the elements themselves. They are an extraordinarily insightful backdoor into seeing the relationship between body and mind. They define the intersection between our experience of things (body) and what we feel and think about things (mind). 

 

This weekend will be devoted to a deep dive into sensory experience. Through short lectures, group exercises, guided meditation, and discussion, we will thoroughly explore the relationship between sensory experience, mind (thought and emotion), action, and being within the five-element paradigm. I will teach somatic meditation practice both days as a means of deepening our conscious awareness of sensory experience.

one 2-day class for acupuncture practitioners; 14 NCCAOM pending core competency CEUs

STAY IN TOUCH

909 Long Point Road

North Ferrsiburgh, VT 05473

Tel: 802.985.5480

vtacupuncture@gmail.com