This is a part of a series that explains 5 Element Acupuncture by comparing and contrasting it to modern medicine. In this post we will take a look at the nature of disharmony, or what effect disease has on a person. Modern medicine has pathology and 5 Element Acupuncture has energy imbalances.
Medical pathology was the original CSI MIAMI
Pathology is the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes. This science starts at the end point and works it’s way backwards to the find cause of the disease, just like a detective investigating a murder starts with a death and works her way backwards to find the murderer.
5 Element Acupuncture begins with the end
The main difference with the way a 5 Element Acupuncturist views the effects of disease is the belief that the beginning of the disease process is the end as well. In 5 Element Acupuncture there is no cascade of cause and effect that leads to death.
Once the energy becomes imbalanced, there is nothing less nor nothing more to do than treat the imbalance. It does not matter if the imbalance is recent and there are no symptoms yet manifest, or if the imbalance is well established and the patient is very ill.
While this sounds incredibly silly and just another bit of oriental circular thinking, one only has to take the simple example of my hop house collapsing to understand how the concept makes perfect sense.
The story of the hop house
I live on an old hop farm in Central New York. At one time, this area was the hops capital of the United States. One of the outbuildings on our farm was the hop house, a specialized structure for drying and packaging hops for sale and shipment. The hop house was build around 1870 and was last used in the 1920’s when the farm was converted to a dairy operation.
Since the hop house was no longer a money making structure, it was neglected. The roof was not kept in repair, nor was the vent cowl which allowed the moisture and smoke from the drying process to escape without allowing rain to get in and damage the structure.
Time and weather take their toll
Over time, weather wore off the exterior paint, rain began to seep in through holes in the roof. Eventually the siding facing west, the direction of the prevailing winds, started falling down. To the builder’s credit, the hop house held together through many storms, until finally in 2009, a huge gust of wind blew into the hop house and lifted part of roof right off the walls and smashed it about 20 yards away. The hop house died.
What caused the architectural death?
If you were an architectural pathologist, the cause of death would have been the gust of wind. You would not be a complete idiot and ignore the damage that allowed the wind to kill the building, but nonetheless, the cause was still the gust of wind.
Putting it all together
To understand, the point of the hop house story, you simply have think about cancer. Cancer is like the gust of wind. It’s what finishes the job, but a lot happens before the cancer can get bad enough to kill.
A 5 Element look at architecture
In the 5 Element model, the hops house’s cause of death would be the same imbalance which started the decline in the first place: not the gust of wind, not the west facing siding falling off, not even the leaking roof, the imbalance that started AND ended the life of the hop house was a lack of income generating purpose for the structure.
Identifying the root cause
If at any point in time, the hop house was more than just a gentle reminder of the old days and actually was a source of income, any of its owners, including me, would have spent the $30,000 needed to stabilize the structure or better yet, the building would have been maintained all along.
The power of the energy imbalance concept
This is the deep power of 5 Element diagnosis -- the power of understanding an energy imbalance, the root cause of a disease. Even if I had secured a state grant to save the hop house. It would have just postponed the ultimate demise. Without a purpose, there was nobody to spend time in the hop house and notice what needed fixing, let alone have the extra money to make the yearly repairs needed.
You don’t need to understand acupuncture to understand energy
It took me three years and a Master’s Degree to understand how energy imbalances play out inside a human being. However, if you use your imagination, you can conjure up a scenario where lack of sleep over many years could cause an energy imbalance. That would weaken the immune system to the point where frequent viral infections could damage the cellular DNA causing cancer, and if unsuccessfully treated, lead to death.
How the beginning becomes the end
In western medicine, the cause of death would be cancer, in 5 Element Acupuncture, the cause of death would be an energy imbalance caused by not following nature’s laws and getting enough sleep. You understand now the beginning is the end and why 5 Element Acupuncturists sound like broken records when it comes to the nature’s basic laws.
One last example
Indulge me with one last example, an example of growth and not death, the life of an oak tree. To a 5 Element Acupuncturist, an acorn does not become an oak tree, and this is very important, the acorn is the oak tree. A majestic 200 year oak tree is simply, but no less miraculously, an acorn that has unfolded over time.