Diagnosis by Odour
In Classical Five Element Acupuncture the way to diagnose a persons Causitive Factor is by their Colour, their Sound, Odour and Emotion. Odour can be a subtle thing at first and is quite different to a person's body odour.
Usually these odors will not overpower you or may not come immediately but rather they may just arrive in your awareness as the person is talking about something significant or you are taking pulses or physicaly examining the person.
The Five Odours all have lovely names.
Wood is Rancid
Think of the energy of the Liver and Gall Bladder meridians. These meridians look after the production and storage of bile, which is responsible for breaking down fats in our diet. If this energy is weak we can look for a smell of fat or slightly rancid smell like oil that has gone a little off.
Fire is Scorched
This is the smell of burning, best thought of as the smell of freshly ironed clothes or clothes from a dryer. It raises high in the air and will be found high in the treatment room.
Earth is Fragrant
This sounds nice but is more the smell of old flowers or old blossoms as you walk past a bush. It gets up your nose it has a slightly cloying and overly sweet sense to it. It tends to engulf you.
Metal is Rotten
Metal is the smell of the large intestine - the part of us that deals with our own waste. Think of the sharp odour you get as you walk by the meat section in a supermarket or the smell of rotting leaves on the ground in Autumn.
It is a descending energy and will be found around the lower parts of a treatment room.
Water is Putrid
The meridians of Water are the Bladder and Kidney. So like Wood we think of these organs not processing well enough and we may get the smell of urine or of ammonia. It can also be a fresh odour, the salty smell of a sea breeze.