Full qualification in Five Element Acupuncture in 18 months. Become part of our team of acupuncturists once you graduate.

Next intake starts 17th March 2017

All of the teaching is conducted by practitioners with 15 years experience. Most acupuncture courses use less experienced teachers for much of the training.

Free e-course: The Magic of Five Element Acupuncture

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As seen in...

"The secret to more energy, balance and positivity"

"Writer Juliet Davey talks to 5 Element Acupuncturist Michael Arnold on how to renew your energy through connecting to seasonal change." Read this article.


"Your body is designed to reflect nature"

"Says acupuncturist Michael Arnold." Read this article.


"Soul heroes"

"Acupuncturist Michael Arnold is my choice. Michael shares my devotion to cure the root cause of a complaint and not just treat the symptom". Read this article


"Finally I'm a mum"

"When drugs didn't help her get pregnant, Amrit Theocharous, 39, from Enfield tried something more natural." Read this article

How to enhance people’s lives every day, working 25 hours a week. Make more money than your current job, and have a waiting list, instead of wearing yourself ragged with a job that eats your soul

Hi my name is Michael Arnold. A woman came into my office, burst into tears and told me how ashamed she was at not being able to have children. Her sister has 3 kids and her sister in law is pregnant with their first. Grandma is all excited and they’re buying baby stuff “and I’m struggling with depression. I can’t even go to Starbucks because I just sit there and cry, looking at all the mothers and babies”

I started working with her and four months ago they had a beautiful baby boy. They sent me an email with pictures of their beaming new arrival.

And you know what the best part is: 

I get to do this every day.

I used to do research in a neuroscience laboratory. It was kind of glamorous and I got to tell people I was finding out about how the brain works, but really it left me cold sitting in a lab cutting up bits of brain when I knew I could be in the real world, helping real live people. 

It wasn’t until my best friend killed himself and I was plunged into despair that I discovered acupuncture. It helped me to come to terms with his death and rid me of the dreadful insomnia that came with it. But not only that it put me in touch with a part of myself I had almost forgotten existed. I remember thinking:

“Ok so this is what it should feel like to be alive!”

I was very lucky to find this amazing system called Five Element Acupuncture. It’s a very interesting story because Chairman Mao actually outlawed it.  He became very ill and and was treated by an acupuncturist, who basically saved his life. So he thought “Well maybe it’s got some merit”. So they stripped out all the spiritual aspects and standardised it and westernised it and exported it to the west. And that, by the way, is the acupuncture that the rest of the world knows about. 

Five Element Acupuncture is a living, vibrant system that recognises that the cause of most illness these days is due to a malaise of the spirit. We now have more physical and mental nourishment and sustenance and yet there is more illness in the world than ever before. The American Medical Association even recognises that 90% of all illness is caused by stress. We have forgotten how to truly connect with the most vital part of ourselves - our soul. 

I’ve now been teaching this wonderful system of acupuncture for over 10 years and the practitioners I helped to train are helping people with all kinds of problems from depression and anxiety, to migraines and fertility. From stressed out executives to pregnant mums there are so many people who can benefit. If you’re reading this now it’s likely acupuncture has touched your life in some way.

If you have a passion in life, A certain kind of person you want to help we can teach you how to do that. 

But here’s what’s even more interesting:

Those of you who don’t have business degrees might find this kind of boring but just so you know, we’ve set up a system where every £1 we spend on adverting results in £11 in the cash register. This is exceedingly rare and this is why we have waiting lists. This is why we are able to charge higher rates that other acupuncturists and work less and have meaningful lives and go on long holidays. 

I would love you to join our growing tribe of healers who aren’t begging the world to listen to them.

I’ve seen a lot of people struggle to maintain a busy practice simply because they don’t know how to market themselves. A recent survey found that less than half of all acupuncturists practicing in the UK make a full-time living from their acupuncture practice. 

I know for a fact that this is because most healers (including myself) have all kinds of stories going around in their heads like:

"It's not spiritual to charge for healing"


"Marketing is unethical and evil"

I used to believe that Marketing is just what big evil companies like Coca Cola did. But then I realised that if I'm marketing to people who are actively interested in what I have to offer and I'm offering them something life afirming that I believe in with my whole being, how can that be evil or unethical.

Anyway, the good news is I've spent the last 10 years developing an ethical marketing system that works. And now it's time to use it to help the practice of Five Element Acupuncture take off like a rocket!

We only take people we think are going to fit and we have an extensive application and screening process. But if it’s a fit and if you qualify I’d love to help you create a new life.

Our undergraduate programme is two and a half years and in the final year you'll be treating on your own, earning money with patients we send your way.

What happens after I finish the training?

At the end of the 2.5 years, if the fit is right, you get to apply to become a member of our growing team of acupuncturists. We provide you with a constant stream of patients and with ongoing mentoring to help you grow as a practitioner. You get your own unique geographical area to practice from, where you can build your practice.  Locations are already being allocated to practitioners and graduates so the sooner you complete your training with us the more choice of locations you'll get.

"Becoming a Five Element Acupuncturist has had a massively profound effect on my entire life. It's way more than a job or, in my opinion, an 'occupation'. It's almost like you are learning (or re-learning) an entire way of 'being' which simultaneously brings great benefits to both yourself and your patients."

- Richard Brook, Five Element Acupuncturist

Submit your deposit and application form by Feb 8th and save £2500

Gabriella and I have decided to offer a big “fast action” discount for the intake that starts in March. It makes our life easier to have admissions wrapped up well before the course starts. If you get your application and deposit in by Wednesday 8th February at 5.00pm, the course fee is reduced from £12,500 to £10,000 for the full 2.5 years. The cost to spread payments over the 2.5 years is still £15,000. So you save £5000, which means it is very cost effective even if you need to take out a loan to pay it all up front.

We want to prioritise students who are ready to commit to the full course as it can be very disruptive for the group if someone drops out mid way through the course.

The non refundable deposit, due by 8th Feb, is £900, with a further £9100 due by 1st March.

This is the last time we will be offering the training at this price. Next year, due to increasing costs, (and the fact that Gabriella and I are having to reduce our patient numbers to focus on the school) we won’t be able to offer this discount any more. 

For those who have yet to come for an interview, the deposit is refundable if you’re not accepted onto the course for any reason. 

To request an application form and pay the deposit simply email Chloe at:


or call:

020 7118 0920

If you haven't yet been in touch and you'd like to find out if the course it's a good fit, Chloe can schedule a call with me.

I look forward to talking to you.

All the best,

Michael Arnold

Full course details

Next intake starts march 2017

Teaching will be one day per week, every Friday during term time. You will need to allocate a further 10 hours per week for study and practice.

Numbers will be strictly limited to an intake of 10. This is because the course will be run in an apprenticeship style at our clinic in Maida Vale, London. You’ll get a lot of personal feedback and attention because of the small size of the group. 

The course is in 2 parts - part 1 is an 18 month training resulting in a full qualification. Then the last six months of this are purely clinical. You will treat patients under supervision.

Part 2 is a 1 year residential - you will be given a steady stream of patients to treat and will get regular mentoring. This is akin to a post graduate placement and ensures you get off to a flying start. I have seen many practitioners quit after graduating because they didn’t get the regular support they needed. This residential part of the course is our way of ensuring this doesn’t happen.

What happens after I finish the training?

At the end of the 2.5 years, if the fit is right, you get to apply to become a member of our growing team of acupuncturists. We provide you with a constant stream of patients and with ongoing mentoring to help you grow as a practitioner. You get your own unique geographical area to practice from, where you can build your practice.  Locations are already being allocated to practitioners and graduates so the sooner you complete your training with us the more choice of locations you'll get.


The course is suitable if you are:

  • not an acupuncturist but you already have a qualification in another therapy
  • completely new to any kind of healing or therapy
  • an acupuncturist who practices another style of acupuncture and you want to learn how to practice Five Element Acupuncture


The course is not for you if:

  • you want a degree

  • membership of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is important to you. On completion of our course, you will be able to get medical indemnity insurance from Balens. However, you will not be able to join the BAcC. This is because the BAcC requires students to learn things that we do not consider essential to the practice of Five Element Acupuncture, such a research methods and TCM theory. BAcC membership is neither a legal requirement nor necessary if you want to practice, safe, high quality acupuncture and run a thriving practice.

  • you don’t like learning (some) theory and doing assignments. The course is not heavy on theory, but what theory there is, you do need to learn by heart.


£12,500 if paid in full in advance
£3000 every 6 months in 5 installments


"Discovering five element acupuncture especially working with Michael has had the most beneficial effect on my life. I feel centred, grounded and ready to take on anything that comes my way. I really do appreciate the work you do Michael, I’m sleeping better and also have a found a deeper sense of Joy since working with you, Thank you!”
– Mark Collin
“This system of medicine is so simple, a child of five could understand it”
– JR Worsley, credited with bringing Five Element Acupuncture to the west.

Return to simplicity

When JR Worsley brought Five Element Acupuncture to England in 1956 his licentiate programme consisted of 30 days learning the theory, followed by a few months of treating patients under supervision. This was only the first step on the path of mastery, but it was enough to get you started in practice.

These days almost every acupuncture training in the UK lasts 3 – 4 years and contains mountains of essay writing, western medicine and research methods. The vast majority of this is not necessary if you want to practice Five Element Acupuncture as it was originally intended.

Lose your mind and come to your senses

The power of Five Element Acupuncture comes from it’s rootedness in observation through the senses. You learn to diagnose by using your sense organs instead of your intellect. You do not need to gain vast amounts of knowledge. You simply need to relearn how to truly, see, hear, touch and smell the unique human being in front of you. You grow emotionally and spiritually and you learn how to become an “instrument of healing”. This is not something you can learn in a book. You can only learn through practical application and by working directly with patients.

Our course is the fastest way to get started in Five Element Acupuncture without cutting any corners.

It is also the only course in the UK to teach Five Element Acupuncture in the form that it was originally intended. This is the wonderful system of healing I fell in love with 19 years ago.

In 1956 J.R. Worsley started training others to become excellent practitioners of Five Element Acupuncture. J.R. had a thriving practice on Audley Street, London and was becoming world-renowned. Starting in 1972 groups of Americans came over each year for the US Intensive Licentiate Programmes with JR. This intensive and focused programme trained to a very high level for entry-level practice. In 30 days of non-stop 14-16 hour days he worked with highly motivated groups to learn the theory. After a few months of home study and assignments the groups would return for another intensive 30 days of clinical training followed by internship and supervision. Practitioners were so inspired to develop into even finer instruments of this medicine that most went on to study in apprentice-style fashion with JR in the Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level programmes.

J.R.’s ultimate level of training was started with his wife, Judy in 1996: The Master Apprentice Program (MAP™). This high level professional developmental met in retreat for in apprentice style format with Judy and J.R. until his death in 2003. Judy continues to lead MAP™ in collaboration with the Worsley Institute.

Our licentiate programme covers all of the original element of JR’s programme and leads to eligibility to enrol in MAP™.

We are delighted to have Judy Worsley, who succeeds J.R. Worsley as the leader of this tradition, involved in the course development and clinical teaching on our programme.

A True Story of
Life as an Acupuncturist

Sign up below to receive our 5 part email series, “A True Story of Life as an Acupuncturist”. This is the story of how a crisis led me to discover Five Element Acupuncture and how it changed my life. You'll also learn about the methods that allowed me to go from waiting tables to working full time as an acupuncturist.

About Michael Arnold

Michael Arnold – Founder

19 years ago I was studying Neuroscience at University. I had it all mapped out – I was going to be a researcher in brain science. Discovering new and uncharted areas of human consciousness… but life had other plans for me.
That October my best friend James killed himself. The only thing that helped with the emotional turmoil and insomnia was Five Element Acupuncture. It helped me to find a peace and acceptance that I had never experienced before. I also realised that I wanted to help living people, directly. I didn’t want to cut up dead people’s brains in a laboratory.

When I started my training in acupuncture it was everything I hoped it would be. It challenged me mentally, emotionally and spiritually to grow as a person and to learn how to become an “instrument of healing”. James’ words came back to me:

“You’re not going to be a scientist Michael. You’re going to do something much more spiritual.” He could read me better than I knew myself.

One of my dreams has always been to set up an undergraduate Five Element Acupuncture course. So early this year, with the encouragement of a mentor of mine I decided to do just that.

Journey of discovery

Over the last 15 years I have dedicated myself to the practice and teaching of Five Element Acupuncture. It has enriched my life beyond measure. One of the teachers I am grateful to is Nora Franglen, who founded the School of Five Element Acupuncture (SOFEA), where I did my original training and subsequent Post-graduate Certificate in Five Element Acupuncture. I also went on to teach at the same school.

At the end of my first year at SOFEA I remember watching JR Worsley give a clinical seminar to the whole school. The patient he was diagnosing was obviously very depressed and low. She looked sunken and her whole demeanour and body language was subdued as she explained her condition. JR very compassionately described her state and gave his diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The practitioner then performed this treatment and when the lady came down an hour later, there was a spring in her step and a renewed vigour for life that is hard to convey on words. “Thank you so much” she said with a big smile as she left. “You certainly have a brightness in your eyes too after watching that”, said a fellow student, as I excitedly discussed what had just happened.

“Wow I’m definitely in the right place here”, I thought as I left the school that day.

In 2003 JR sadly died. In 2004 I started working with his wife Judy. Before JR died he publicly announced that Judy was to succeed him as leader of the Five Element Acupuncture tradition. I was drawn to Judy’s teachings after seeing her working with patients. I was amazed by her ability to get right to the heart of the matter and to connect with the patient in a deep and inspiring way. During the many visits I paid to her clinical seminars I was again reminded of the profound transformation that is possible when this system of acupuncture is practised at the highest level. I have since attended over 50 of these days with Judy.

In 2005 Gerad Kite asked me to join his team of Five Element Acupuncturists at the Kite Clinic in central London. It was great to be part of such a committed team of practitioners all working under the same roof. I learned a lot at the Kite Clinic and completed 300 hours post graduate training on Gerad’s “Classical Five Element Excellence Programme”.

In 2006 I completed the Worsley Institute Basic Teacher training, to become a Certified Teacher of Classical Five Element Acupuncture. For 3 years I taught on the London Institute of Five Element Acupuncture Licentiate programme.

I have a deep passion for the teaching and practice of Five Element Acupuncture. After 15 years of training, practice and teaching I still find myself in awe at the power of this magical system of medicine.


About Gabriella Doran

Gabriella Doran – Tutor and course development advisor

After an initial training in art, specialising in theatre design, Gabriella lived in Asia for several years, where she ran her own highly successful jewellery manufacturing business. On her return to the UK she was treated with acupuncture, which she was surprised to find not only improved her health, but also provided invaluable support through a bereavement and period of major life changes. She was impressed and inspired by this simple yet profoundly effective form of medicine, and made the decision to study and become a practitioner in 2000.
Training and Experience

Teacher of Five Element Acupuncture: previously head of Second Year studies and Member of Faculty at LIFEA (London Institute of Five Element Acupuncture).

Board Member of the Worsley Institute the home of the Worsley Five-Element Acupuncture tradition developed by Professor J.R. Worsley and continued by his designated successor, Judy Becker Worsley.

Licentiate in Acupuncture from London’s School of Five Element Acupuncture (SOFEA). This is an intensive 3-year training programme which included rigorous continual assessment and examinations, culminating in a years supervised training in clinic alongside internships in long-established practices with master practitioners.

Certified in Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture and Facial Revitalisation Massage and Acupressure, as taught by Virginia Doran the leading authority on Facial Rejuvenation acupuncture in the United States.

Tai Chi Practitioner and Teacher proficient in the Cheng Man Ching 37-posture Yang Short Form and Sword Form and teaches both forms, one to one.

About Judy Worsley

Judy Worsley – Clinical tutor and course development advisor

Judy Becker Worsley was a devoted student of Professor J.R. Worsley from 1973 until his death in 2003. She succeeds him as the leader of this tradition.
In 1972, having attended law school in the United States and realising law would not be her career path, in her search to find something meaningful she happened to read a book on acupuncture. Feeling inspired she traveled the United States in search of the best possible teacher. In the spring of 1973 she found the inspirational teacher she had been searching for in England: J.R. Worsley, and began her training.

Between 1973 and 1983 she received her Licentiate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate Certifications. Under Worsley’s direction, she practiced, taught and supervised at the College of Traditional Acupuncture (CTA) until 1995. During this time Judy and J.R. opened the Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture (WICA), an undergraduate program in the USA and in 1991 they were married.

In 1996 J.R. & Judy created the Master Apprentice Program (MAP™) for ongoing postgraduate work.

In 1998 J.R. publicly announced that Judy succeed him as leader of this tradition, should he pre-decease her. In his final years he intensified his work with her, preparing her for the responsibility that would follow.

One of Judy’s designated responsibilities is to be affiliated with teaching organisations that are in a current professional relationship with her, and who demonstrate that they practice and/or teach Worsley Five-Element Acupuncture both in content and spirit as taught by Professor J.R. Worsley.