Part of my journey in Five Element acupuncture is how to combine the acupuncture theory with herbalism. One of the biggest obstacles to combining Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) to Classical Five Element (CFE) is the underlying notion of energetic transfer in needle treatment.
Unlike regular TCM diagnosis with it's emphasis on patterns and pathogens, CFE theory is more simplistic and needling generally revolves around removing energetic blocks and making transfers on the sheng and ke cycles.
It seems that herbal theory quickly moved away from five phase theory and fitting herbal remedies within a five phase paradigm might be tricky. Hang on, why even attempt to do this?
Here in the UK there are a great many CFE practitioners that don't offer herbs. We also have a reasonable orthodox medicine service that will cater for a lot of illness that herbs are good at treating. I still believe there is a gap though for CFE practitioners to be able to offer herbs to benefit their patients without making things too complicated and having to restudy a great deal in TCM diagnosis.
CFE leans itself towards chronic disorders that need tonification. I will be exploring basic herbal formulas that deal with tonification over the next few months.