(28th Issue | November, 2019)


Guiding Needle Acupuncture has the following mission: “To elevate the consciousness, robust health and vitality of humanity.”


Thousands of years ago, physicians in China began to explore the nature of human emotion and discovered a direct link between emotion and the organ system.

The system of correspondences are explained with the Five Element theory, the first medical writings on the Five Elements were found in the Nei Ching Su Wen written around 200 B.C. 

The Five Element Theory, also called the five-phase theory, holds that everything in the universe, including our health, is governed by five natural elements: WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL and WATER. This theory underscores the Chinese Medicine understanding that human beings, both physically and mentally, are intertwined with nature.


Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water are interrelated aspects of energy that are evident throughout nature, including in the human body. An individual's state of health manifests according to the balance between these Elements. In the five element theory, each of the five elements has a season, particular organs, emotions and senses associated with it, such as taste, smell, color, sound. The wood element, for example, is associated with spring, the liver, and the gall bladder. Similarly, the fire element is associated with early summer, the heart, and small intestines; the earth element corresponds to late summer, the stomach,pancreas and spleen; metal is associated with autumn, the lungs and large intestine; and water is associated with winter, the kidneys and bladder.


Wood corresponds to having a vision of the future, having the ability to organize, plan and initiate action, and to express emotions, including anger, in a healthy manner. Wood includes the function of the gall bladder and biliary tract, liver, ocular system, ligaments, tendons and sinews. When not in balance, the Wood Element correspondences include difficulty in making decisions, high levels of frustration, excessive need for control, inappropriate anger, difficulty relaxing, anxiety, chronic muscular problems such as fibromyalgia, headaches (including migraine) and visual problems.


Having helped many people resolve emotional imbalances over the years, I have found the following to be accurate from the point of view of the physical body (obviously many factors exist in life that may trigger bodily malfunction which, in turn, could then trigger an emotional response). What is described herein is the relationship between the emotions and physical body.


An imbalance in LIVER function can cause a person to experience excessive or inappropriate anger, irritability, frustration, impatience, and/or depression. For example, a person could have experienced multiple emotional stresses over many years that suppressed liver function. Then, the loss of a loved one could cause liver function to drop dramatically, and the person could then begin to experience frequent bouts of depression.


On the other hand, a well-functioning liver will cause one to be generally relaxed, patient, and emotionally even. It is interesting to note that intense cardiovascular exercise pushes blood and energy through the liver thereby benefiting it greatly (this is one reason people feel so mellow after exercising).

Fire correspondences include the ability to establish relationships, express love and sexuality, expansiveness, enthusiasm, passion, playfulness, joyfulness, warmth and relaxation. The organ systems include the heart, small intestine, pericardium, and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.


When the Fire Element is not in balance there is a lack of joy and warmth, difficulty in intimate relationships, depression, confusion and doubt, short term memory loss, low energy, digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, cardiac disease and tinnitus. Normal heart function provides one with inner peace, love and joy.

Earth corresponds to nourishment, contentment, harvesting what is needed for self and others, stability, security, empathy and caring. Earth corresponds to the biological mother, as well Mother Earth. The organ systems of Earth are the stomach, spleen, pancreas and all digestive processes. When the Earth Element is not in balance we see a person who can be obsessive, self centered, opinionated, insecure, uncaring, prone to worry excessively or to over-think. The physical symptoms include eating disorders, upper and lower gastrointestinal disease including peptic ulcer disease and inflammatory bowel disease, sinusitis, frontal headaches and all gynecological disorders. Strong spleen/pancreatic function will yield clear and crisp thinking at a normal pace.

The Metal Element represents internal resolve and strength, self worth, self esteem, vitality and endurance, as well as the ability to let go of emotional upsets and grudges. The organ systems are the lung, skin and colon. When the Metal Element is out of balance there can be depression, inappropriate or excessive grief, sadness, and/or melancholy and an inability to recover from loss, lack of inspiration, rigidity, poor self esteem, excessive materialism and emotional withdrawal. The physical symptoms include asthma, rhinitis, eczema and other skin disorders, constipation and lower bowel disorders.

The Water Element represents energetic reserves, the will to survive and thrive, courage, our ability to procreate, movement and flow, self actualization, willpower, trust and faith. The organ systems are the bladder, kidney, bones and endocrine system. When out of balance, the Water Element corresponds to excessive or inappropriate fear and a struggle for survival, a lack of reserves and deep fatigue, reduced sexuality, timidity and a lack of trust in life and in other people. The physical symptoms include fatigue and exhaustion, all disorders of the urinary tract, infertility, hypertension, all endocrine disorders, lumbar syndromes, ankylosing spondylitis and dental pathology. Conversely, strong kidney function will cause a person to trust easily.


As you can see, in many cases, excessive or inappropriate amounts of emotion can be caused by a breakdown in organ function, not simply an imbalance in brain chemistry, which is a typical medical view of emotional imbalances. The limited medical theory can be quite counterproductive and, ironically, leads to further difficulty in resolving the problem. For example, if one takes a medication for depression (which may be caused by a liver imbalance) and that medication reduces liver function, it makes it more difficult to treat the depression. This is often why a person may take a medication for the length of their life... and the issue never fully resolves!


Since the nervous system controls and coordinates every function of the body and acupuncture modulates the nervous system, it is an excellent method of establishing and maintaining emotional balance. Conveniently schedule and reserve your acupuncture appointments online at www.guidingneedleacupuncture.com

Enjoy the convenience of scheduling appointments online in real-time, 24/7

The Guiding Needle Acupuncture wellness process is designed to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals. First time patients, begin by conveniently scheduling a comprehensive initial acupuncture assessment/treatment online. 

At your FREE initial 60 minute comprehensive acupuncture assessment, you meet one-on-one with Thomas to discuss your case in a no-pressure environment. This gives you the opportunity to see if Thomas' services are an ideal fit for you, and Thomas will have the opportunity to determine his ability to help your unique case.

An acupuncture treatment fee of $85 applies for treatment following this free initial 60 minute acupuncture assessment.

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Thank you for choosing Guiding Needle Acupuncture as your provider of quality traditional Chinese medicine. I choose to be of great service to you, your family and friends now and for future years to come. May the blessings be.

Thomas Nerbas R.Ac, PFT

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Guiding Needle Acupuncture

#50 - 17 Boudreau Road
St. Albert AB