Updated: Jun 30, 2022
As one of the most challenging dilemmas of our day, comorbidities are now observed physically and mentally concurrently (Sartorius, 2018). Individual specialists often have a difficult time addressing complex cases with multi-morbidities involving both physical and mental aspects, leading to inquiries about integrative treatment models (Ee et al., 2020).
The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health states that “integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing” (2021).
Five Element acupuncture, embracing the “Taoist concept of the Laws of Nature”, is the original integrative medicine as it seeks to treat the person a whole including mind, body, and spirit for over 2000 years now (Moss, 1999). The style of Five Element acupuncture emphasizes that spirit must be treated first to treat the body, especially with the challenges of today’s culture lacking “wu wei”, the state of desirelessness, which is one of the fundamental ways of protecting health according to Tao Te Ching, the root philosophy of Chinese Medicine (Moss, 1999). Five Element acupuncture may be one of the most integrative paths to healing when it comes to multi- morbidities involving psycho-emotional and physical conditions simultaneously.
According to Vozeh (2018) multiple body systems such as “the mechanisms between the central and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system” are often interconnected in disease manifestations under the influence of external and internal environment of the given person. While stress is one of the ways humans adapt and strengthen, if it is endured intensely and for a prolonged period of time, especially psychosocially and not only physically, it becomes pathogenic in psychosomatic diseases (Vozeh, 2018). Due to this phenomena, psychoneuroendocrine-immune relations and regulation are in fact the biomedical explanation for the ancient traditions finding health through the “unity of body and soul” (Vozeh, 2018). For example, psychobiological stress may lead to “lower resistance against infections, various allergic reactions, or weakened resistance against tumorous growth” (Vozeh, 2018). Furthermore, Vozeh (2018) brings up another study done proving “a causal relation between chronic mental stress and myocardial infarction” as well as the recent findings about the behavior and effect of anti-inflammatory cytokines in chronic and acute ischemic heart disease. Stress- related sleep disorders were also found to be another factor myocardial infarction, acute cerebral stroke, and chronic circulatory diseases (Vozeh, 2018). The list of diseases caused by psychosocial stresses continues but is not limited to fields of psychiatry, dermatology, oncology, infectious diseases e.g., depression induced immunosuppression, and eye disorders (Vozeh, 2018).
How does 5 Element Acupuncture Factor In?
Five Element acupuncture focuses on balancing the “3 key components of
the traditional Chinese philosophy” - qi, yin, and yang – and the elements that create the human experience and function (Moss, 1999). The assessment of the person is done on all levels of spirit, body, and mind whether the chief complaint is minor or major on either level.
Treatments consist of identifying major blocks such as aggressive energy, 7-internal & external dragons, husband-wife imbalance, and entry-exit with complimenting acupuncture points after the removal of major blocks. Five Element acupuncture seeks to correct “constitutional imbalance or causative factor and not focus on treating a symptom or syndrome”, although at times this style of acupuncture may eventually be followed by orthopedic acupuncture etc. (Moss, 1999).
Treating the spirit (and the body simultaneously) allows the individuals to make improvements in their daily decisions whether about diet, meditation, exercise, and relationships while Five Element acupuncture style helps organize the complexities of multimorbidity patients (Moss, 1999). Moreover, Vozeh (2018) endorses the idea of creating “an individualized medicine, tailor-made to the personality of the patient”, which Five Element acupuncture, as well as the rest of Chinese Medicine, has been repeatedly delivering to patients for over 2000 years.
Come and try 5 Element Acupuncture at LUX Integrative Wellness.
Ee, C., Lake, J., Firth, J., Hargraves, F., de Manincor, M., Meade, T., Marx, W., & Sarris, J. (2020). An integrative collaborative care model for people with mental illness and physical comorbidities. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00410-6
Moss CA. (1999). Five element acupuncture: treating body, mind, and spirit. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 5(5), 52–61.
Sartorius, N. (2018). Comorbidity of mental and physical disorders: a key problem for medicine in the 21st century. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 137(5), 369–370. https://doi- org.pacificcollege.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/acps.12888
Vožeh, F. (2018). Immunity - a significant pathogenic factor as well as an integral part of the psychoneuroendocrine-immune regulations. Physiological Research, 67(2), 165–173. https://doi-org.pacificcollege.idm.oclc.org/10.33549/physiolres.933656 7
Mission & Vision. Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. (2021). https://imconsortium.org/about/introduction/.
Wojdasiewicz, P., Poniatowski, Ł. A., & Szukiewicz, D. (2014). The role of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Mediators of Inflammation, 2014, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/561459