Acupuncture points for Anxiety: The Five Elements
These are the five elements.
We will spend the next 10 to 20 minutes (more like 35) talking about and drawing correlation and correspondence between the inner nature of each element and the inner nature of our own lives. It’s important to understand this as a foundation because this is where we start to make the connections between body, mind and soul. Chinese Medicine really is the original Functional Medicine because it sees everything as a complex adaptive system. It see’s everything as a whole. We are going to walk through each element individually because of course, that’s how we learn things when we set a foundation. Eventually what we want to see is that as much as there’s these themes happening within one element within one part of our life there’s always a relationship between other areas of our lives. Really when were talking about bringing flow into our being into our life into our body into our mind we always we need to remember that as much as there’s one theme that might be a rising really strongly, there are other things that are at play and we want to support the surrounding structures as well as that root primary imbalance that were holding.
Don’t worry too much about that stuff right now for now. What’s important is that you connect into the themes and you start to draw these parallels and I’m going to walk you through that and help you, that’s the purpose of the video. It’s worth mentioning that if you are new to Chinese medicine if you’ve never taken any courses from me and you’ve landed on this video you’re probably interested in body-mind connection and understanding how the Chinese saw the world. How they saw how we connected to the cosmos into our deeper purpose and our deeper potential.
What’s beautiful about the five elements theory is it holds a language and there are these resonances between the most physical part of who we are on the most spiritual part of who we are. So, the pieces of us that we cannot see right down to the pieces of us that are very obvious that we can see. I invite you to open your mind and if these things sound a little bit odd if you’re not used to the language right now, if the ideas and the theories you’re like “oh come on that seems far fetched”…just open your mind. I promise you I promise you that these connections are very very very very very real. They’re nuanced and they’re different from how our western logical mind wants to think about things where they want things to be very exact. And to some degree there is an exactness but it’s all about the nuance because it’s adapting to its environment constantly.
Even with the five elements, we call them element’s but elements almost does this theory a disservice because they’re not fixed. They are more like phases so they’re continually moving which is why flow is always moving as well. When we talk about bringing flow into an area we want to get the energy or the Qi moving, it’s because we recognize that life is constantly moving and we are constantly adapting.
We’ll start down here in water. We’re going to walk through two themes: one is going to be the spontaneous flow of energy in nature because this is how we are going to understand what it is and where it is we want to promote the flow. Then we’re going to break down each element into its again we’re going to go deeper into its inner nature so that you can start to draw out these themes within your own life as it relates to anxiety. It’s important to remember that the five elements theory is the macrocosm to the microcosm of our own life. The macrocosm is everything that we can see out there, the environment at large that we are observing. If we’re paying attention we’re observing how it is that the sun coming down interacts with the Earth and how that allows trees to grow and how it affects the water and wind and all of these climatic factors. That’s the macrocosm and there’s a mirror that happens so everything that we observe out there is also observable within our own inner nature.
Let’s start down here in water. Water house’s our deepest potential. The emotion related to it is fear. If you think about the inner nature of water there are a few things; one of them is that it goes wherever it needs to go. It doesn’t have any judgment around it or any fear which is kind of the irony of it. It has no fear around where it needs to go. If you think about water it’ll find the deepest cracks. That’s in a sense the gift that it gives to us. If we can sort of inhabit the nature of water we can hold the complexity of the unknown and the Mystery. If you think about a deep-ocean that’s what it is. We get to a point where it’s just pure darkness. We’re engaged in this powerful entity but it’s unknowable. We can’t see, we don’t know what’s coming next, and so this is where the fear part comes in. If we can face our fear and move beyond it and allow the consciousness of water to go wherever it needs to go it can reveal our deepest most inner nature to us. There is a wisdom that is cultivated in the face of moving beyond our fear. This doesn’t mean constantly pushing beyond our fears in terms, you know, of stepping out of your comfort zone although those things are very important. This is more looking at our own inner nature, the pieces of ourselves that we have pushed away, the pieces of ourselves that we don’t want to be with. The pieces where we say “well that person’s like that but I’m not like that.” It’s being brave enough to recognize that we all have all parts of ourselves in that everything that we see out there whether it’s something that’s desirable or not desirable is all a part of us. And it’s all a part of humanity and it’s all part of the complexity of life so that’s the nature of water.
Water is very much related to the nervous system. It’s also related to the bones. I say this because the bones are our densest physical tissue. There’s a depth to that because of that density. The kidneys sit as the lowest point anatomically, they are the lowest solid organ in our body so they represent that depth. Because there’s this association with fear and this potential there’s also this is deep association with survival. Anytime there is something that feels like it’s a threat, so in other words, our fear is activated because our survival, our existence, is feeling threatened, we recruit the nervous system. We call into action either fight or flight or we go into hypoarousal or freeze mode.