Time of treatments (time of day, season, time or year) and following nature are important factors in classical Chinese acupuncture.  This tradition has been kept alive for thousands of years in Five Element Acupuncture. Northampton Community Acupuncture is happy to offer parts of that tradition throughout the year.  The underlying principle is that the right time for a treatment adds power to it in supporting the physical characteristics, actions and emotions most present at that time.  For example treating the stomach with the horary* point on August 21 (Earth Equinox) at 7 am (time of day for the stomach) powerfully supports digestive health and helps those struggling with digestive problems. 

A horary point is the point on a specific meridian that is most closely associated with the element which also categorizes that meridian; in other words, the earth point on the earth meridian. Every meridian has five points that most strongly influence each of the five elements.

Five Element Seasonal Treatments ~

Please note that the Seasonal Treatments are on hold for now. - Summer 2022

Anne-Louise Smallen, our licensed acupuncturist on staff who was trained in the Five Element style of acupuncture at the Maryland University of Integrated Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute), brings some of her unique training and approach to acupuncture with these special offerings throughout the year--offered at the specific time that the season changes. Read below to learn more about upcoming clinics, as well as previous ones.

As an example,

here is a list of a previous year's Five Element Seasonal Treatments:

(scroll further down this page for further information about each element's functions and  qualities)

Season:  Spring

Energy:  Wood

Meridians:  Liver and Gallbladder

Time of Seasonal Treatment:  Spring Equinox/March19-20 from 11 pm to 1 am.

Supports:  menstrual health, reproductive functions, sleep, eyes and tendons

Season: Summer

Energy: Fire

Meridians:  Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, San Jiao

Time of Seasonal Treatment:  Summer Solstice/June 20th from 8 pm. to 9:30 pm

Supports:  cardiovascular health, circulation, lymphatic system, hormone production and distribution, mental health, and ability to be oneself

Season:  Late Summer (Harvest)

Energy:  Earth

Time of Seasonal Treatment:   August 21st from 7:30-9:00 am.

Supports:  red blood cell production, energy, blood circulation, Raynaud's syndrome, muscles, clear thinking and overthinking


Season:  Autumn

Energy:  Metal

Meridians:  Lung and Large Intestine

Time of Seasonal Treatment:  Fall Equinox/September 22nd, 5 am. to 6:30 am.

Supports:  Good functioning of the lungs (inhalation and exhalation) and the large intestine ( asthma, allergies, sinusitis, constipation, IBS, diverticulitis).  Also supports the treatment of skin disorders (eczema and psoriasis), and emotionally, can help with chronic depression and obsessive behavior


Season: Winter

Energy: Water

Meridians:  kidney and bladder

Time of Seasonal Treatment:   Winter Solstice/December 21st, 3:30 pm to 5 pm.

Supports the deepest parts of our physical and emotional being:  bones, DNA, chronic ailments, genetic diseases, teeth, hair and nose (sense of smell), deep traumas and fears

(413) 586-8251

The Five Elements in Nature and our Health


In Spring, nature is growing at its fastest speed.  The energy of Wood is called The Commander of the Armies.  It is yang, highly focused and not so subtle.  It has directions: upward and onward.  The wood energy helps the blood, the reproductive systems, the ability to plan our lives and to take action.  It is also related to the eyes  and the tendons.  So this treatment would help with menstrual pain, PMS, fertility,  tendonitis, etc. It can also help alleviate stress, excessive anger, and migraines.

The Chinese say that the blood spirit goes out in the day (action oriented), and comes back at night (sleep and rest oriented).  If our inner schedule is off and does not follow these two movements, we can be sluggish and unfocused during the day and suffer from insomnia at night.  More than anything, the Wood treatment can help regulate your inner clock. 



In Summer, the Sun reigns and the energy of the Fire element is called The Emperor.  It radiates “shen”, this quality that makes us notice the radiance and presence of an individual, whatever their station in life.  It is so central that four meridians are assigned to it.  It rules heart and arterial health, circulation and can help cardiovascular conditions (arythmia, angina, etc).  It also rules lymph circulation and the production and distribution of various hormones.

It is important to our mental health and sense of well-being.  When out of balance, the fire element may cause manic behavior, decreased emotional control and inappropriate behavior. One can be consumed by passions and desires, be at the mercy of negative emotions, or be incapable of intimacy.  Treatments can help clear traumas, maintain body temperature (night sweats, hot flashes, Raynaud's), or flush toxins (which generate heat in the body).



The late summer is the time for nature’s harvest, and for most valuing and evaluating the quality of our food and digestion.  Digestion is essential to a good life.  It is our life’s checking account, allowing us to renew our energy and life force, without too great a cost to our constitution.  Food makes qi and blood, and helps support all internal systems, nourishing organs, producing red blood cells, and building muscles.  The earth element is also good to treat the mouth, gums and jaw.

Emotionally, the Spleen and Stomach help the thinking process and help us create concrete steps toward our goals.  This is the most centering type of energy.  An imbalance in the Earth element increases worry, lack of purpose, overthinking or inability to focus.



The metal element rules good breathing (full inhalation and exhalation), good elimination  (urinating, defecating, sweating, etc.), immunity and healthy skin.  They are all linked. As an example, look at the effects of years of smoking on a person's skin.  A treatment at this time of year could support the healing of those with respiratory diseases (asthma, allergies, sinusitis), constipation, IBS, diverticulitis, eczema or psoriasis.  October and November commence the flu and fall allergy season; the metal treatment is a great boost for the immune system at this time. 

Emotionally a healthy metal element can help counteract depression, low self-esteem, obsessive behavior, difficulty letting go, harshness toward others and self-destructive behavior.



The water element supports the deepest parts of our being: our bones and marrow, our genetic inheritance, our DNA and constitution.  Just like exercise can help you live longer, the water element helps address our inherited weaknesses.  Nature in winter is dormant, restful and prepares us for the great spring renewal.  This ability to rest is essential to our health and often not valued enough in our society.  Treatments for chronic diseases often involve kidney and bladder points to induce latency and remission.  They produce bone marrow and help the body and mind to fight long-term diseases.  They help to maintain healthy bones (including teeth), hair, and the sense of smell.

Fear is the prevalent emotion of water.  Its healthy response is perseverance, a strong will and guts. Look at the power of water in nature.  It makes edgy rocks smooth and has the strength of a tsunami.  Nothing resists it.