February 12, 2018

Acupuncture: What are the 5 Elements?

Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, clinical professor of small animal clinical science at the University of Florida, founder of the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, goes through the 5 Elements—the method of diagnosis and treatment used in traditional Chinese acupuncture.


Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, clinical professor of small animal clinical science at the University of Florida, founder of the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, goes through the 5 Elements—the method of diagnosis and treatment used in traditional Chinese acupuncture.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“The 5 Elements is the basic principle when people practice acupuncture. They are 5 Chinese medical systems, the so-called lung, kidney, liver, heart, and spleen. In Western medicine—more modern medicine—there are about 10 or 12 medical systems, depends on which textbook you look at. For instance: neurology, dermatology, respiratory, and so forth. But Chinese medicine has an emphasis on 5. So, generally speaking, the Chinese medical system is much broader than conventional Western medicine. For instance, just for lung, the lung is one of the medical systems. In addition to its association with the respiratory system, it’s also associated with the immune system, for instance.”

Sign up to receive the latest news in veterinary medicine.

Latest Issue

Client Education

American Veterinarian