Five Element Energy

In ancient China, Taoist scholars and mystics described five elements philosophy based on their observations of nature. For thousands of years, this philosophy has been used in Chinese medicine to help people with illness and emotional issues. The five elements are Fire, Water, Wood, Earth, and Metal, and they are understood to be the five aggregates that comprised the world. Energy from the five elements embraces the energetic matrix of the universe, and it is said to flow together within us to bring harmony and balance.

Five-Element Healing Energy in Sara Yo Stones

   - Cover Story in The South Coast Insider Magazine

The story of Dr. Hannah Hershoff’s jewelry began in 2013 when a cousin of Dr. Hershoff returned from a trip to their family’s home village in rural China. The cousin told Dr. Hershoff of the beautiful stones she had found, made from a mineral mined near the family’s village, located in southeast China. The mineral was JDZ kaolin, known as a special type of “China clay,” and it had been used to make the arts that served several dynasties of Emperors over thousands of years.

It was not Dr. Hershoff’s first exposure to the mineral; her father was the manager of the mines where the mineral was extracted. But the jewelry made from the mined kaolin seemed to have a beauty beyond a first-glance appreciation.

The process involved in turning the kaolin mineral into jewelry is a long treatment involving water, fire, and wood in a kiln. Do it carefully, at the exact perfect temperature, for just the right amount of time and you end up with a one of a kind jewel that only becomes more beautiful as it is worn.

“I was familiar with the stones and knew they were beautiful, but I never thought I could make jewelry from them,” Dr. Hannah said. She thought she might give it a try.

“So I got a few pieces from the local area and made some bracelets. I thought I might give some of the pieces to members of my family, and then I forgot about it,“ said Dr. Hershoff.

Forgot about it, that is, until, “until one day, my sister-in-law came to visit,” said Dr. Hershoff.

Before we get too far along with this story, it’s important to know that Dr. Hershoff already had a well-respected professional life as an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon.

Since leaving China, Dr. Hershoff had built a career as a Harvard-trained research scientist. She holds a PhD and an MD, and had been working in the medical field for 25 years.

When the sister-in-law entered Dr. Hershoff’s kitchen, “She was drawn to one of the items sitting on the kitchen counter,” said Dr. Hershoff, who gave her the piece.

Then, two weeks later her sister-in-law called, asking what was in the jewelry. “I asked her why she asked,” said Dr. Hershoff. The woman explained that she had been feeling “really low in spirit,” but that she now felt empowered—felt she could overcome her problems.

Inspired, shortly thereafter Dr. Hershoff made half-dozen bracelets and gave them to six women, whose ages ranged from 16 to 64. “After two or three months, to my surprise, six out of the six women told me how wonderfully the bracelets had changed their lives,” said Dr. Hershoff. 

“The 16-year-old, she had huge problems in her life, she never thought she was pretty, even though she was a model, so we asked her to wear the bracelet,” said Dr. Hershoff. “After a month we interviewed her and she was feeling much better.”

That experience was, in essence, the beginning of Sara Yo Spirit Jewels. Dr. Hershoff left her well-established 25-year medical career and started to provide her bracelets to customers in Silva & Co Jeweler in Dartmouth Mall, Dartmouth, MA and via her online store.

 “I tried to find out just how it worked…I was trained at Harvard University, so with my scientific background I had to do some research on the mineral, finding out if any compounds made people feel better.”

“I couldn’t find what chemicals were in it,” she said, “but there was certainly something happening.”

Now, Dr. Hershoff and her husband, Randy, are the owners of Sara Yo Healing Fashions. Dr. Hershoff exhibits a line of more than 400 designs, and each stone is unique.

Dr. Hershoff also provides her customers with a complimentary “Five Element Healing Program,” based on Taoist philosophy that has been practiced in China for thousands of years.

What Is Fire Energy?