Law of Cure

Hering’s Law was formulated through the development of homeopathy, following the discoveries of Hahnemann, who is regarded as the Father of Homeopathy. Hering’s Law of Cure is the basis of healing in which the body heals itself. The states that symptoms of a chronic disease disappear in a definite order: 1. Reverse chronological order, 2. From within outward, and 3. From above downward. Reverse chronological order indicates that we will heal in reverse order of the symptom presentation or suppression through intervention. From within outward reflects that symptoms move from the more vital organs to the less vital organs, interior of the body toward the skin. From above downward means that we must heal from the head and trunk first, then toward the extremities.

Classical Five Element Acupuncture follows the principles of Law of Cure. JR Worsely describes that Law of Cure, “arises from the idea that the disease, which travels deeper as imbalance increases, reverses its path as Nature effects cure.” As Classical Five Element Acupuncturists, it is our job to assist Nature by treating the cause of the disease, rather than the symptoms, thus we must expect the presence of the Law of Cure within clients that we treat. Furthermore, we may expect that even though there is a brief and sometimes intense return of symptoms, that the client will acknowledge, ‘feeling better inside’. This presentation confirms that the body is in the process of healing itself on all levels of mind, body, and spirit.

Command Points: Source, Luo, Horary

Command Points

Source Points
Source (Yuan) Points fall under the category of Command Points*. Each of the twelve meridians has a Source Point. Source Points are unique in that the generate energy from within, without drawing or dispersing energy to or from anywhere else. Neil Gumenick states that, “the energy generated with Source Points comes from deep within the organ or function, aka Official.” The “source” is the well of Primordial Qi that the meridian pulls from. Source Points are the only points that have a built-in safety factor. When needling or stimulating the Source Point, it will only take as much energy as it requires. It cannot be over-treated. Source points do not spread toxins. Other points, especially more powerful body points do not have this cut-off feature. 

It is common to consider the Source Points as the ideal first treatment to try with a client. These points will be respectful of the client’s energy and thus, can yield excellent results when treated on the right CF. Source Points will give us information. Source Points can also be added when it feels like you need to bring energy up within a meridian. If Source Points are treated and there is no change in pulses, it could be indicative that the practitioner is treating on the wrong CF or that there is simply not enough energy within the meridian. If there is a substantial pulse change and or change in color, odor, sound or emotion, we can deduct that the CF has been properly identified. Source Points, as Command Points, will also serve as a way to ground the energy and the treatment, especially when we have experienced positive results and don’t want to change anything else.

On the predominantly Yin Meridians, the Source Points are the Earth Points. Heart 7 - Spirit Gate, Circulation Sex 7 - Great Mound, Lung 9 - Very Great Abyss, Kidney 3 - Greater Mountain Stream, Liver 3 - Supreme Rushing, and Spleen 3 - Supreme White. The Source Points on the predominantly Yang Meridians are Small Intestine 4 - Wrist Bone, Triple Heater 4 - Yang Pond, Large Intestine 4 - Joining of the Valleys, Bladder 64 - Capital Bone, Gall Bladder 40 - Wilderness Mound, and Stomach 42 - Rushing Yang. 

Junction Points
Like Source Points, Junction (Luo) Points are also Command Points. Junction Points are representative of the the connection between paired officials, sometimes referred to as “connecting points”. We can liken Junction Points to adjoining rooms of a hotel. Each official is in charge of opening their own door to the other. The Junction Points are a way for the paired officials to share energy with each other and create balance. Both the Yin official and the Yang official need the same amount of energy. When the door is opened on the deficient side, energy flows out from the abundant side until balance is achieved. 

We identify the imbalance in paired officials through the pulses. We will experience a “split” meaning that the pushes within a pair are not the same. We treat this “split” and imbalance through needling the Junction Point of the deficient official in the pair, allowing the gates to open and the pair to find equilibrium. A “split” should be treated anywhere it is found, regardless of the CF. Once a “split” is identified, it should be the primary target of treatment. After completing this type of treatment and rechecking the pulses, the paired officials should present with the same pulse. Paired officials can generate more energy when they are in balance with equal energy. Paired officials work together for the well being of the Element, thus it is vital for us to encourage balance between the two. It is important for us to focus upon the concept of balancing, rather than the idea of raising the energy of both Officials. Harmony among Officials is associated with the system becoming happier. 

The Junction Points: Heart 5 - Penetrating Inside, Small Intestine 7 - Upright Branch, Bladder 58 - Fly and Scatter, Kidney 4 - Great Bell, Circulation Sex 6 - Inner Frontier Gate, Triple Heater 5 - Outer Frontier Gate, Gall Bladder 37- Bright and Clear, Liver 5 - Insect Ditch, Lung 7 - Narrow Defile, Large Intestine 6 - Side Passage, Stomach 40 - Abundant Splendor, and Spleen 4 - Princes Grandson. 

Horary Points
Horary Points are also Command Points. Horary Points are the Element point that corresponds to the Element of the Meridian, i/e the Fire Point on the Heart Meridian or the Metal Point on the Lung Meridian. Horary Points have a special quality when used during a particular time of day or season based on the Horary Cycle and Seasonal Cycle. These points help to rejuvenate the Official. They also serve as a way for us to communicate with the Official to get a sense of how the Official is doing and what is truly happening in the state of the Official. These are the only points that really give us access to observe the true state of the official. 

Treating the Horary Points during their time or season is ideal for revitalization. A Horary Point is only a Horary Point during its’ time of day or season, otherwise, it is just a point. The maximal effect will occur when treatment is within the time and season. According to the Law of Midday and Midnight, also known as the"Chinese Clock", each of the 12 Officials has an extra measure of energy to do its job during the two hours allotted to it, i/e Lung 3-5am. Because of their power, we tend to work with Horary Points early on the treatment of a client. Horary Points are worked with based on the client’s CF. Horary Points are only tonified, never sedated. Pulses will give a feel of what is happening with the Official. If the pulses are still low after treating the Horary Point, there’s something more going on. 

The Horary Points: Heart 8 - Lesser Palace - fire point, Small Intestine 5 - Yang Valley - fire point, Bladder 66 - Penetrating Valley - water point, Kidney 10 - Yin Valley - water point, Circulation Sex 8 - Palace of Weariness - fire point, Triple Heart 6 - Branch Ditch - fire point, Gall Bladder 41 - Foot Above Tears - wood point, Liver 1 - Great Esteem - wood point, Lung 8 - Meridian Gutter - metal point, Large Intestine 1 - Merchant Yang - metal point, Stomach 36 - Leg Three Miles - earth point, Spleen 3 - Supreme White (earth point). 

*Command Points in CFEA are located on the elbows to fingers and knees to toes. Command Points give energy to all levels - body, mind, and spirit. They provide us with feedback about our diagnosis of CF. Command points ground energy and return control back to Nature. Command Points include Element Points, Source Points, Junction Points, Tonification and Sedation Points and Horary Points.

Causative Factor

The Causative Factor (CF) is the heart of our work as Classical Five Elements Acupuncturists. CF is used to describe the imbalance which is the underlying cause within an individual. CF is vital to treatment in Classical Five Elements Acupuncture as it indicates the source of the client’s imbalance. Treating the source of the imbalance is the key to promoting healing. 

Causative Factor is based on the idea that the Five Elements - Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal - exist within all of us. Ideally, we present with each of the elements at the same level and in perfect balance with each other. This ideal is, however, not reality. One of these elements inevitably tends toward  becoming the weakest link of the elements within. This weak link is named the Causative Factor as it is the source of all imbalance. 

There is a great sensitivity to determining Causative Factor and an even greater responsibility as a practitioner to treat each client as unique. The CF must not be regarded as defining who someone is fundamentally or constitutionally. CF only defines the source of the imbalance lying with one particular element. JR Worsley emphasized that the CF isn’t one’s essential nature and encouraged students of his to know their authentic selves and know the authentic selves of clients. 

Everyone has a Causative Factor. The Causative Factor should not produce judgement toward any one element, but rather illuminate that that element within the individual is out of balance and causing any other imbalances. Whether deficient or excess, the element needs attention in order for the individual to flourish within their life experience. The CF shows the areas in which we are not yet enlightened. Causative Factor is not negative or positive, it just is. 

The CF is diagnosed based upon the sensory information provided by the client. These include color, odor, sound and emotion, which present from the body in particular ways when an element is out of balance. As Neil Gumenick reiterates of JR Worsley’s teachings, “In addition, this elegant system recognizes that the health of each unique individual's body, mind, and spirit must be taken into account to fully understand and treat the cause of illness. Thus, no two patients are ever treated the same.”   JR also stated that ”Practicing this system of medicine from your senses is very easy. Coming from your head, it is impossible." Furthermore, JR taught that everything one needed as a practitioner of Classical Five Elements Acupuncture to diagnose and treat clients lied within. 

When we are in balance, all of the colors of the elements are within us. They show on our faces. When we are out of balance, the color of our Causative Factor becomes more evident. The weak element produces color. The more out of balance, the more obvious the color. The color associated with Water is blue, Wood is green, Fire is red, Earth is yellow, and Metal is white. We look for these colors around the eyes of a person. 

Odor is perhaps the most definitive and irrefutable form of diagnosis. Odor is received in our reptilian brain, the most primitive part of our sensory reception. It creates and evokes emotion. The odor used for diagnosis is the general odor emitted from the body. It wafts off of us. We always emanate odor to some extent, even after washing. The more balanced we are, the less pronounced the odor. The odor associated with Water is putrid, Wood is rancid, Fire is scorched, Earth is fragrant, and Metal is rotten.

A well balanced voice has all the sounds and all the sounds occur at appropriate times. Appropriate expression is in harmony. Unbalanced sounds are indicated by disharmony between the emotion and the sound or maintaining one sound continuously or the lack of a particular sound. The sound associated with Water is groaning, Wood is shouting, Fire is laughter, Earth is singing, and Metal is weeping. Sound follows emotion.

When we are in balance, all five emotions will be expressed appropriately. When out of balance, we may not experience all the emotions or may be stuck in one emotion. Emotions may be conspicuously absent. The eyes are the window to the soul; as practitioners, we must look to the eyes to see the truth of the emotion rather than hearing only the words. The emotion that one feels most comfortable with can feel like home and become a shield for the client. The emotion associated with Water is fear, Wood is anger, Fire is Joy or lack of joy, Earth is sympathy or reject sympathy, and Metal is grief. 

Just as in nature, there are boundless variations of colors, sounds, emotions and odors. Each individual is unique and will have a unique presentation of their Causative Factor. We don’t necessarily ever know the cause of the CF, but as Five Elements Acupuncturists, we are able to identify it and treat it. 

Diving deeper into the diagnostics and foundation of Classical Five Elements Acupuncture, we must consider the importance of “distress signals”. Distress signals are subtle cues that the body, mind and spirit share with us so that we take note that there is something out of balance. These distress signals can get louder and more alarming if the source is left untreated. The distress signals can manifest into symptoms. Much of Western Medicine treats symptoms rather than treating the root cause producing the symptoms. This methodology will sometimes palliate symptoms for a period of time, but does not restore balance.

The nature of the body, just like the nature of nature is to maintain balance. The body is always seeking homeostasis, which allows us to infer that the body knows how to heal itself. Intervention such as Classical Five Elements Acupuncture through diagnosing Causative Factor touches the source of the imbalance in such a way that balance can begin to be restored. 

Spending time with the Causative Factor reveals that while it is the source of the dysfunction, it also serves as the source of activation and harmony. There is a vast duality which can easily be misunderstood and perceived negatively. Turning our attention to the source gives us access to the greatest range of healing and possibility that exists within the individual.