Our 36-month Master of Acupuncture program is based in the ancient and subtle energetics of the Five Elements. Rooted in traditional Taoist philosophy, our program finds the perfect model for health and well-being represented in the laws and cycles of nature. In keeping with the oral tradition of this medicine, our program transmits the skills of diagnosis and treatment through experience and example, emphasizing the development of one’s ability to observe and learn through the senses. Students immerse themselves in a blend of didactic and experiential training designed to strengthen the senses and develop the Heart as a complement to the analytical process. As a result, the students’ self-development and inner work are an integral part of becoming an effective practitioner.

Students who graduate from the program will be awarded a Master of Acupuncture degree (M.Ac.) and will be qualified to sit for the NCCAOM exams.

Educational Objectives

Academy for Five Element Acupuncture is dedicated to preparing graduates to practice as independent health care practitioners and to work cooperatively with other health care providers. Graduates of the Master of Acupuncture program will be able to:

  • Understand the theory and philosophy of Five Element Acupuncture, including the roots of Oriental medicine, traditional diagnostic methods (seeing the whole person), meridian pathways, points and pulses, the Five Elements in nature and acupuncture in relation to other healing systems.
  • Understand themselves as acupuncture practitioners, using a holistic approach to body/mind/spirit, appreciating their limits and areas for growth and knowing when to refer to other resources.
  • Apply knowledge to patients by recognizing the cause of symptoms through touch, smell, hearing and seeing, accurate pulse taking, treatment planning based on traditional diagnosis, determination of timing and sequence of treatment, as well as safe and competent application of practical techniques.
  • Operate a professional office by knowing how to schedule and manage patient records according to the requirements of an acupuncture practice, maintain appropriate office and patient records, abide by legal and insurance requirements of an acupuncture practice, including standards for sanitation, safe needle techniques, emergency procedures and patient safety.

For the complete list of current course offerings, please download our catalog.

Inner Development of the Practitioner

At the Academy, we believe that the cultivation of the self, of the Heart, is fundamental to the process of becoming a practitioner. Accordingly, the students’ inner development is placed in the forefront of education, with an important emphasis on increasing awareness of one’s internal state. We seek to cultivate and strengthen the Heart, the individuality, compassion, empathy and awareness of the student as practitioner. At the same time, we work to provide a safe space for students to do this inner work, so that they in turn can create a safe place for their patients. Through reading, Qigong, meditation and field trips into nature, students are asked to look within and learn who they are as individuals and as practitioners. Students evaluate themselves, identifying their areas of strength and weakness in order to grow past their limitations and fears.

Practitioners are most effective when they are able to focus their intention. And only when there is stillness inside, can they focus that intention.

We seek applicants who are able to demonstrate the maturity and commitment to this inner development in addition to the didactic learning. Interested applicants can familiarize themselves with this component of our program by reviewing the course descriptions in our catalog for courses Inner Development of the Practitioner I (ACT 410) and Inner Development of the Practitioner II (ACT 510).