Acupuncturists have used the Chinese model of the Five Elements for three thousand years to balance ch'i, the vital force of the body. This book explains to both acupuncturists and the general public how to work with this map of energy and apply it diagnose physical illness, resolve emotional imbalances, and navigate the stages of life. Written by an MD who has taught in Chinese medical colleges for over twenty years, this book explores the elements as universal symbols, thereby integrating ancient Chinese wisdom with modern Jungian psychology. The book draws upon case histories, spiritual poetry (especially Rilke and Rumi), classic sources such as the I Ching (sometimes called the soul of Chinese medicine), and examples from contemporary culture in order to bring the elements alive. Of particular interest are chapters devoted to the interface of Eastern and Western Medicine, Chinese numerology from one (Tao) to eight (I Ching trigrams), spiritual aspects of the elements, archetypal patterns in popular culture (particularly the television series Seinfield), and a conclusion that discusses how to cultivate a life in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
The goal is to revitalise traditional teachings for the modern world - and in the process bring East and West together. Through an archetypal approach to Chinese medicine, we can gain fresh insights into the roots of illness, while uncovering a positive vision of wellness and the healing process. We may even discover a way to heal the seemingly insurmountable problems of modern times, which have their origins in the widespread alienation from nature and from our own inner nature.
Gary Dolowich MD