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The Way of the Five Elements

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Table of Contents

Notes on the Text. Preface. 1. Landscape of the Five Elements. 1.1. How to use this book. 1.2. The Five Element model. 1.2.1. Origins of the Five Elements. 1.2.2. Five Elements go west. 1.2.3. Cycles of the Five Elements. 1.2.4. Constitutional Element. 1.3. Principle of Resonance. 1.3.1. Seasons. 1.3.2. Senses. 1.3.3. Colours. 1.3.4. Sounds. 1.3.5. Odours. 1.3.6. Emotions. 1.3.7. Organs and officials. 1.4. Acu-points. 1.4.1. Point names. 1.4.2. Point selection. 1.4.3. Treating points with acupressure. 2. Water. 2.1. The Nature of Water. 2.2. Resonances of Water. 2.2.1. Season: Winter. 2.2.2. Sense: Hearing. 2.2.3. Colour: Blue (Black). 2.2.4. Sound: Groaning. 2.2.5. Odour: Putrid. 2.2.6. Emotion: Fear. 2.2.7. Organs and officials. 2.3. Power source point K 3. 2.4. Regeneration mountain BL 60. 2.5. Two extraordinary points K 6 & BL 62. 2.6. Lumbago BL 23. 2.7. Fire of the gate of life GV 4. 2.8. My Achilles is killing me BL 57. 2.9. Bubbling spring K 1. 2.10. Holding up the heavens BL 10. 2.11. Resurrecting spirit K 24. 2.12. The spirit of Water BL 52. 2.13. Waking from hibernation GB 25. 2.14. Transition from Water to Wood. 3. Wood. 3.1. The Nature of Wood. 3.2. Resonances of Wood. 3.2.1. Season: Spring. 3.2.2. Sense: Seeing. 3.2.3. Colour: Green. 3.2.4. Sound: Shouting. 3.2.5. Odour: Rancid. 3.2.6. Emotion: Anger. 3.2.7. Organs and officials. 3.3. Is life Worth living? LV 3. 3.4. How flexible are you? GB 34. 3.5. Keep your shoulder well GB 21. 3.6. Neck release GB 20. 3.7. Gate of hope LV 14. 3.8. Tears of frustration GB 41. 3.9. Surviving the spring wind invasion GV 16. 3.10. Jump up and touch the sky GB 30. 3.11. The spirit of Wood BL 47. 3.12. Wood feeds Fire LV 2. 3.13. Transition from Wood to Fire. 4. Fire. 4.1. The Nature of Fire. 4.2. Resonances of Fire. 4.2.1. Season: Summer. 4.2.2. Sense: Speech (touch). 4.2.3. Colour: Red. 4.2.4. Sound: Laughing. 4.2.5. Odour: Scorched. 4.2.6. Emotion: Joy. 4.2.7. Organs and officials. 4.3. Mind your heart HT 7. 4.4. Choosing wisely SI 7. 4.5. Steady as she goes HP 6. 4.6. Guarding the frontier TH 5. 4.7. Light my fire HP 8. 4.8. Stairway to heaven SI 3. 4.9. A dyslexic guy walks into a bra HP 7. 4.10. Shrugging off shoulder pain SI 10. 4.11. All you need is love CV 17. 4.12. Healing trauma BL 43. 4.13. The spirit of Fire BL 44. 4.14. Transition from summer to late summer. 5. Earth. 5.1. The Nature of Earth. 5.2. Resonances of Earth. 5.2.1. Season: Late summer & transitions. 5.2.2. Sense: Taste. 5.2.3. Colour: Yellow. 5.2.4. Sound: Singing. 5.2.5. Odour: Fragrant. 5.2.6. Emotion: Sympathy & worry. 5.2.7. Organs and officials. 5.3. An army marches on its Stomach 36 ST 36. 5.4. Transport yourself SP 3. 5.5. Happiness is a full tummy ST 40. 5.6. Master of the seas SP 4. 5.7. One for all, all for one SP 6. 5.8. Receiving line ST 13. 5.9. And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core SP 16. 5.10. Return to centre ST 25. 5.11. Mother's embrace SP 21. 5.12. The spirit of Earth BL 49. 5.13. Transition from Earth to Metal. 6. Metal. 6.1. The Nature of Metal. 6.2. Resonances of Metal. 6.2.1. Season: Autumn or Fall. 6.2.2. Sense: Smell. 6.2.3. Colour: White. 6.2.4. Sound: Weeping. 6.2.5. Odour: Rotten. 6.2.6. Emotion: Grief. 6.2.7. Organs and officials. 6.3. The breath of heaven LU 1. 6.4. Letting go of letting go LI 4. 6.5. Catching a breath, reaching the depth LU 9. 6.6. Anyone for tennis elbow? LI 11. 6.7. Battle of the bulge BL 25. 6.8. A fork in the road LU 7. 6.9. Point of the shoulder LI 15. 6.10. Smell the roses LI 20. 6.11. Skylights LU 3. 6.12. The spirit of Metal BL 42. 6.13. Transition from Metal to Water. Acknowledgements. References. Further Reading.

Promotional Information

52 key acupoints (one for each week), and the Chinese medicine principles that resonate with them through the 5 Elements seasons

About the Author

John Kirkwood has been working, living and playing with the Five Elements for 30 years, first as a practitioner and teacher of Jin Shin Do (R) Acupressure, later as a graduate of the SOPHIA program of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute of Maryland, and now as a practitioner and teacher of Five Element Acupressure. He lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia.


Through poetry, lush visual imagery, fascinating case histories and crystal clear explanations and point locations, John Kirkwood brings the body, soul and spirit of Five Element Acupuncture to life. A labor of love and devotion, this is a book clinicians, students and patients of traditional Chinese medicine have long been waiting for. I will use it in all my teaching and will cherish my copy for years to come. -- Lorie Eve Dechar, author of `Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing' John Kirkwood's The Way of the Five Elements is an original and immensely practical addition to the growing literature of five element medicine. In addition to his lively descriptions of each element, John Kirkwood offers something new: explorations of individual acupoints that highlight their elemental qualities. In choosing a small handful of powerful points for each element, Kirkwood offers readers a highly accessible way into the very complex system of acupuncture points. Novice readers and journeyman practitioners alike will find insights and ideas for acupressure treatment of themselves and their clients. -- Gail Reichstein Rex, acupuncturist and author of Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life and Earth Acupuncture: Healing the Living Landscape The benefit of supporting the Element and living in each season goes far beyond the role of Shiatsu and Acupuncture, and so I recommend this book to students and practitioners of all healing therapies which incorporate seasonal energetic work. -- Julie Weeks, MRSS(T) * Shiatsu Society Journal *

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