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Orien5_Earth_2012tal Medicine Journal, Summer/Earth 2012

Late Autumn is such an enjoyable time of year. It represents the center, which is a peaceful place, like the eye of a storm. The fire of summer has eased, but the ice of winter is still but a memory from the previous year. It is interesting that the Jewish New Year occurs during this period of calm, unlike Asian New Year and the New Year of the Western world, which both occur in the depths of winter.

The center celebrates abundance, the fruits of the harvest, a comfortable time of year when it is neither too hot nor too cold. It is a perfect time of year for settling in to a course of study, and what is more appropriate than to study the Five phases themselves.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to do acupuncture using the Five Phases, or if you want to learn the nuances of using the Five Phase system, you will treasure our current three-issue series (Fire, Earth, and Metal) in which we are featuring Dennis Willmont’s discourse on the sixty Inner Phase points and their correspondences.

In Part I, Willmont focused on the cosmological, physiological, and psycho-spiritual and psycho-emotional correlations of the Five Phases within the Five Phases, using the Fire element as his example, and focusing on Wood within Fire. He showed us how Wood within Fire would look as excess, as Deficiency, and in Balance; and then he compared and contrasted the TCM and Five Phase point functions of the Wood within Fire points, demonstrating how these two traditions (TCM and Five Phases) can complement each other.

Now, in Part II, Willmont explores the Inter-Phase Relationships of Wood within Fire, focusing on Root and Branch treatment methods using One, Two, and Four Needle Techniques. He begins by explaining the five basic Inter-Phase Relationships: Horary, Reduction, Control, Tonification, and Dispersion. Then he shows us how to build increasingly complex acupuncture treatment formulas based on these five Inter-Phase Relationships, using One-, Two-, and Four-Needle Treatments.

Finally, using Wood within Fire as the example, he illustrates treatment formulas for a variety of specific conditions, including heart pain, epilepsy, night sweats, schizophrenia, deafness, and acute bronchitis. In Part III, he will present Advanced Four Needle Technique.

So make a nice pot of tea, find a comfortable place to study, and treat yourself to a view of the Five Phases that it is unlikely you have ever seen before.

What a great way to celebrate a New Year!