Five element acupuncture – Fire

As mentioned in the previous post there are four things that practitioners look for when trying to determine the ‘Causative Factor’ (CF) in someone – colour, sound, emotion and odour. These associations with the Fire element have been taken from classical Chinese texts.


It’s not surprising that the colour associated with the Fire Element is red. When observing a person we may be looking for a red colour or, more likely, an absence of red around the eyes and in the laugh lines around their mouth. Instead of being a bright white colour it will be more of a pale, bloodless colour.


What we hear when talking to a Fire CF is a lot of inappropriate laughter – laughing when talking about something sad or frustrating; even when they’re not laughing it sounds like they could burst into laughter at any second. On the other hand, their voice may have no laughter in it – it may sound croaky or flat and the complete opposite to a voice with laughter and life in it.


The emotion we associate with the Fire Element is Joy. It’s easy to see the emotion related to Fire as a positive one. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s jolly all the time? What we’re looking for when diagnosing someone’s Causative Factor is the Joy being congruent. When a compliment is offered or someone is remembering a joyous occasion does the Joy rise and fall naturally? Does the Joy rise at all and if it so does it fade slowly from the face? If this isn’t the case then we’d start to suspect that they might be a Fire CF.


The most difficult one to discern is the odour of someone. Nowadays everyone wears perfume or cologne and their clothes are washed in scented washing powder. That being said, the scorched odour that relates to the Fire CF is possibly the easiest to pick out. If you think about the kind of scent that someone with a fever might give off or clothes that have been scorched whilst ironing this is the natural odour of someone that might be a Fire CF.


Behavioural patterns of a Fire CF

A Fire CF may be compulsively cheerful, never taking life too seriously and the life and soul of the party. On the other end of the spectrum they can be totally miserable and end up isolating themselves from the people and world around them. A Fire CF can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other very quickly but may tend to keep hidden the more morose side of them, giving the appearance of being happy and bubbly all the time. This may be because of a desire to make other people happy and, in turn, fulfilling their own need to be loved.

We might see a Fire CF that is very outgoing and has a need to be around people all the time. However, they might have a tendency to open up too much to other people and jump from relationship to relationship. This leaves the Fire CF vulnerable and this can lead to them being easily hurt.

Because of the Fire CF’s desire to be happy they can be drawn to taking drugs that simulate the emotion of Joy – ecstasy, cocaine, etc.

When someone’s element is balanced then we see a person who is comfortable with who they are and doesn’t have an overwhelming need to please people in order to be loved. They can have successful intimate relationships where they open up and allow themselves to be vulnerable in appropriate situations. They can also find peace being alone with themselves. Acupuncture helps to bring all of the elements back into balance.


Fire and the other Elements

  • Fire is the mother of Earth – Fire creates Earth by burning. The ashes that are left become Earth.
  • Wood is the mother of Fire – Wood creates Fire when something ignites the Wood or from the friction of two sticks of Wood being rubbed together.
  • Water controls Fire – Water contains and controls Fire by extinguishing it.
  • Fire controls Metal – Fire softens Metal so it can be moulded and shaped.


The next post will feature the Earth Element and what a Earth CF might look and act like.


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