The practice of acupuncture began more than 3,000 years ago in China. Early observations of the predictable patterns in nature pointed to the realization of an underlying, cyclical flow of energy. We see this energy manifest most clearly in the change of the seasons. The tradition of Five Element acupuncture is based on the understanding of this cyclical flow of vital energy – also known as Qi. Each of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – represents a distinct quality of the Qi energy that is vital to the continual health and flow of nature.
The Ancient Chinese observed that just as these essential energetic qualities can be found in nature, so can they be found in every living being. By understanding the relationships of the Elements within and using them as a guide, they could discover and treat the root of a person’s illness, restoring health to the body, mind and spirit.
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Benefits of Acupuncture
Five Element practitioners use the Law of the Five Elements as a guide in correcting the imbalance of energy within the body. They recognize that each individual is unique, and while their symptoms may be identical to another person’s, the cause of those symptoms depends on the individual. To determine the cause, the practitioner must first identify the patient’s Constitutional Factor, or CF. The CF is the first element to go out of balance in an individual and becomes the underlying disturbance in the patient’s energy. By restoring balance to the energy of the CF, rather than simply treating symptoms, the Five Element practitioner treats the patient as a whole, leading to a higher level of well-being.
To determine a patient’s CF, practitioners follow sensory cues from the patient known as CSOE: color, sound, odor and emotion. Each element has its own correspondences that the practitioner is trained to see and hear in their patients. Diagnosing the CF through these clues allows the practitioner to focus on the specific meridians and points associated with the CF. Thus, a path of treatment unfolds.
The interdependency of this natural cycle is delicate. Even small disruptions can wreak havoc on growth and development. And so it is with the cycle of Qi in our bodies. When the energies of the Five Elements are functioning in harmony and balance within ourselves, we feel healthy, nourished and fully alive. The extent to which we live according to these natural laws is the extent to which we live in health. When one or more of the elements move out of balance, we may feel a reduced sense of well-being. We may develop various symptoms that show up at every level of well-being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
The Five Elements represent the five phases of Qi as it moves through nature and our bodies. The Elements work interdependently in an elegant and systematic balance, each one sustaining and supporting the next in the cycle. This cycle can best be seen in the change of seasons: Wood corresponds to the birth and growth of plants and trees in the spring.
What is planted in the spring comes to maturity under the heat and vitality of Fire in summer. The warmth of Fire creates the abundance of the harvest of the Earth in late summer. After the harvest comes the decay of autumn, where the leaves falling from the trees nourish the soil and produce the mineral resources of Metal. The mountains and mineral rocks create and bind the flowing streams of Water, moving quietly under the surface of the ice in winter, which, in turn sources the germinating seed of Wood.
A Holistic Approach to Healing & Healthcare
RN, LIC.AC, M.AC., DIPL.AC., Board Certified
Sara Rodefeld is licensed to practice Acupuncture and as a Registered Nurse in Indiana and Tennessee. Sara holds a Masters Degree from The Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in Gainesville, Florida and has studied with internationally renowned Professor JR Worsley, a leader in Five Element Acupuncture. A graduate of Indiana University School of Nursing, she has been a Registered Nurse since 1982 practicing in a variety of patient care areas including Medical/Surgical, Critical Care, Trauma Nursing and Teaching.
Sara is a Diplomate in Acupuncture, certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is also an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. Bringing her experience and knowledge of Western Medicine into her practice of Acupuncture, Sara has an ability to use both of these valued and complementary forms of health care to assist her clients to reach their goal of a more full, balanced and healthy life.
Being a lifelong learner and valuing continuing education, Sara is currently enrolled in the Ongiara College of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in postgraduate studies.
Meaning of the Five Element Acupuncture Logo
"I had an idea in my mind for the logo. Grabbing a brush and watercolors I drew the elements vaguely running into each other. I surrounded these elements with an enso circle, hard and defined on one end and swirling to infinity. As my watercolor design reveals - no element is crisp and sharp - rather they overlap and bleed into each other. All of us are composed of the five elements, one of which is our strength but also where we are challenged in our lives. Five Element Acupuncture, as I practice, is healing and restorative by treating your unique causative factor (CF).
In Zen, ensō (円相 , "circle") is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). A dear friend, a graphic artist, has wonderfully refined my vision in the new logo."
- Sara Rodefeld
Sara's treatment room is dedicated to your wellness.
WHAT IS A TREATMENT LIKE?
The Five Element Approach to treatment is that each person is unique and therefore in my practice I treat only one person at a time. The hour or two hour session is dedicated to that individual and their treatment. I never leave the room, this allows an environment of safety to be created. The client will truly have the time to express who they are, allowing me to know how to address the optimal path to wellness for the individual. My private treatment room overlooks a serene wooded space filled with birds and squirrels connecting the client to the healing properties of nature.
The initial session consists of a very thorough patient history and non-invasive diagnostic exam in which the practitioner attempts to get to know you and really understand your particular situation. This takes an hour and a half to two hours, and usually includes an initial treatment to begin to remove blockages to energy flow. After this, treatments will last forty to forty five minutes to an hour, and include a discussion of progress, practitioner assessment and treatment. Overall, patients look forward to their treatments as a place to relax deeply, process worries and tensions, and focus on a return to health.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL BE NEEDED?
In Chinese medicine, each person is regarded as an individual. Each session will be designed around you and how your energy is changing. Generally, people come for one session per week, tapering off as they become more balanced and symptoms disappear. A general rule of thumb might be one month of treatment for every year a symptom has persisted, although this can vary. Patients are told to allow for at least five treatments to begin to make an impact on significant symptoms.
Many patients also find that acupuncture has the side effect of clearing up other nagging but less significant symptoms as treatment progresses. Acupuncture often fits well as a resource in a patient's life after the main symptoms disappear, providing seasonal tune-ups and a way of strengthening when needed.
COST AND INSURANCE
The initial session is charged as a double session. Thereafter bills for insurance companies are supplied upon request. To find out if your insurance policy covers acupuncture, we recommend asking your carrier the following question, "Under what circumstances does my policy cover acupuncture?" The movement in insurance companies seems to be toward coverage as acupuncture tends to lower your overall healthcare costs.
Acupuncture works well in conjunction with most other therapies including western medicine. Chinese and western medicine are not substitutes for each other; rather they are complementary. Whereas western medicine may heroically rescue us when a crisis arises, Chinese medicine can protect us and ward off disease by strengthening us and also help with both recovery and side effects of treatment. It can also be effective with chronic complaints. Often the need for medications will decrease with acupuncture treatment; however, all changes in medications are done in consultation with your physician.
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Volunteering and treating in a remote Ngobe village with Floating Doctors in Rio Cana, Panama.
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