So if it is true that the cause can come from any of these stages, what does this mean exactly? Do we mean the cause originates at a particular phase of the pregnancy and is then experienced after the birth? This could be true but to understand the method of diagnosis fully, we have to look at the theory of classical Five Element acupuncture, not just in the context of pregnancy or postnatal depression but in the general concept of an underlying causative factor that will lead to illness or disharmony in any individual.
The theory of the 'causative factor' as taught in Five Element acupuncture simply states that within every person's energetic make-up there is a weakness, or a part that is weaker than the rest, and if disease is going to enter this person's body, mind or spirit it will be through this window of weakness. Why this weakness exists is of no consequence as we simply need to be able to make a diagnosis in order to treat and support it. This underlying weakness is not necessarily an obvious tangible weakness that can be observed through symptoms, and a history of the patient's traumas and troubles will not give us the cause. This 'causative factor' will only be seen by the struggling aspect of the person's energetic system sending out alarm signals for practitioners to experience through their senses. The way we are able to differentiate the area of distress is to see the greater flow of energy and break it down into five major groups. These are the Five Elements: five phases of one continuous flow of energy. As the energy moves and changes its vibration and function, it takes on a different form we can identify as separate. Our senses can detect the different phases, through smell, vision, hearing and our ability to feel emotion. The energy of Wood, for example, is doing exactly the same thing when we 'see' green in the face, 'hear' shout in the voice, 'smell' rancid in the air, and 'feel' the anger in the person. We are simply witnessing the same thing but experiencing it through our different senses. When we witness in a patient the overwhelming presence of this part of the energetic cycle, it is probable that it is calling for help as it dominates over the other phases. This clear message nature gives us directs us to the true cause of distress. The power of the 'causative factor' cannot be ignored because there is no mystery to unravel; it calls for our help and as long as we can see, smell, hear and feel the call, we know where to go to help.
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