Middleway Medicine

The Five Element System

My name is Clark Zimmerman. My wife Ann and I own Middleway Medicine. We have been a steady presence in Talent for sixteen years. Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, diet/nutrition, qi gong, and meditation, has always intrigued me. I am fascinated with the idea of wholeness and balance as the key to a healthy and meaningful life. While I was initially trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as I have continued my practice, I have become increasingly interested in the Five Element model of acupuncture. TCM is the form of Chinese medicine that was created by the communist party. It has been standardized and streamlined, so as to be easier to teach and practice. The five element system is more focused on the emotions and the spirit of a person. It is the more esoteric branch of the medicine that was forbidden in China after the communist revolution.


To me, the Five Element system is the heart of medicine.

Five Element system is evolutionary medicine. 

We are born in a state of clarity, unencumbered by the insults of life. Somewhere in our childhood, we experience our initial wound that greatly informs our relationship to the world. It is as if we begin life looking out a clear, clean window that is eventually covered by a residue. This residue influences the view out the window. It colors every subsequent experience. Five Element acupuncture goes back to our initial wounds. Instead of chasing the symptoms of an illness, or a recurring problem, it looks back to the origins of a pattern. Through the graceful poetic symbolism of the five elements, it uncovers a person’s constitutional tendencies and the areas that a person is blocked in their growth as a human being. This creates an openness, an emptiness, that allows us to be informed by the universal source and catalyze evolution towards our destiny. 

We can live very small sometimes. We can believe that we are our jobs, our thoughts, our cultures, and our relationships. While these things help to make us who we are, the truth is that we are so much more than these limited stories. This business of being human can be quite confusing. We ask ourselves so many questions, but the truly important questions are about the nature of our being. “Who am I? Why am I here? How shall I live?” When we begin to gain clarity about the answers to these three questions, we begin to truly live. Using my collection of tools, including the Five Element system, my passion is to help people clear the clutter that hinders their procession to their truest and highest self. If we align with our true self and live the highest expression of this truth, then we find that every act we perform is an act of healing for a weary world.

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