Within five element theory the “creation” cycle is the circular flow of relationships from one element to the next. Fire –> Earth –> Metal –> Water –> Wood –> Fire. Within the creation cycle the “mother” is the preceding element and the “child” is the following element. For example, Fire is the mother of earth and the child of wood.
The Mother – Child law states that in cases of a deficiency you tonify the mother and in cases of excess you sedate the child. For example, frequent urination can be a sign of Kidney (water) deficiency, so you would tonify the metal point on the Kidney meridian (KD 7).
While the theory many times correlates to the common clinical usage of acupuncture points, some of the points that the theory would select do not work the way that the theory would predict. Some examples are:
HT 9 & PC 9 – are most often used to clear heat.
SI 3 & SI 8 – reduce heat, pain and stagnation but provide no tonifying effect.
LI 11 – is typically dispersed to clear heat.
TH 3 – has no tonification effects.
ST 41 – is typically used to disperse fever a/or reduce abdominal distention, although it can be as a local point in a tonifying manner to increase energy flow to the foot.
SP 2 – is not the most tonifying point on the SP meridian – SP 3 is a better choice.