General questions

  • What is Five-Element Acupuncture?

    Five-Element Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine based on the natural laws that govern all beings and matter in the universe. It is a spiritual tradition that addresses the needs of people at the level of the body, mind and spirit.

    Five-Element Acupuncture sees ill-health and dis-ease as an imbalance of yin and yang, the two primary sources of all existence. Any symptom/s a person may experience demonstrates the person has lost balance but the problem does not indicate the cause. The goal of the acupuncturist is to find the true cause of the imbalance in the patient.

    Five-Element acupuncturists use their senses to make a diagnosis (to see, to hear, to smell, to feel). In treatment they use Moxa (a fine Chinese herb) that is burnt to warm the acupuncture points, and needles to stimulate or sedate the energy accessible in the meridian (energy) pathways. This adjustment can harmonise the flow of energy in the patient.

  • Where can I book a Five-Element Acupuncture treatment?

    You can find a Five-Element practitioner through the AFEA site. The Association of Five-Element Acupuncturists (AFEA) is a directory of practitioners that practice the style of acupuncture we teach at Yellow Path and engage with postgraduate training. If you are a practitioner of Five-Element acupuncture and would like to join please email us at

  • What is Yellow Path and who is it for?

    Yellow Path is a resource for people interested in Five-Element Acupuncture, a training organisation for undergraduate and postgraduate students and a community hub for students and professionals.

    Yellow Path welcomes everyone. Our primary focus is on building awareness around Five-Element Acupuncture, its benefits, its history and how people can learn to become practitioners or improve on what they already know.

  • How is Five-Element Acupuncture relevant to me if I don’t want to become a practitioner?

    Learning about Five-Element philosophy and theory shows us how the world works, who we really are and how we can peacefully and purposefully move through life. You don't have to be a student or practitioner to truly benefit from learning about this system of medicine. The teachings of Five-Element Acupuncture can be easily applied to your own life to help you find greater balance, harmony and purpose. Five-Element Acupuncture is the key to allowing us to fully embody the uniqueness of who we are.

  • Is Yellow Path an accredited acupuncture training?

    There is no governmental acupuncture regulation or accreditation. All accrediting bodies in the UK are private organisations run by members of the profession. For example, the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) is a not-for-profit company focusing on acupuncture education in the UK. It consists of members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), educationalists, members of the public/other training institutions and Western medicine professionals. Its aim is maintain standards that are decided by the organisation.

    The BAAB and BAcC are not regulated by the government. There is no legal requirement for any acupuncture training institution to be accredited by the BAAB or for graduates to become members of the BAcC.

    Yellow Path is not affiliated or accredited by either organisation for the following 5 reasons:

    1. There is no legal requirement to be affiliated with either private company and our graduates are not disadvantaged in the work-place by not being members of the BAcC.

    2. We teach Five-Element acupuncture as a complete system of medicine.

    3. Our entire focus is on producing safe, confident and competent professionals.

    4. We avoid teaching a broad based education in the many different styles of East Asian oriental medicine. Our focus is entirely on Five-Element acupuncture.

    5. We do not teach Western medicine or research as part of our undergraduate training.

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  • What is the best online acupuncture training?

    First of all, let's be clear about what "online acupuncture training" actually means. If you go to the British Acupuncture Council site and ask this question, their opening line is, "We are very reluctant to endorse online training in acupuncture."

    But what do they mean?

    It is of course impossible to learn acupuncture exclusively online. Most acupuncture courses that are only taught online are for postgraduate students.

    The physical/spiritual hands-on direction of a teacher is essential. This is an ancient system of medicine that has been handed down from master to student and this has rarely involved books alone. It was an apprenticeship with the emphasis on 'this is how you do it'.

    The imparting of knowledge can, however, be passed on through online films. At Yellow Path we have done our very best to film the lecture material in such a way that makes you feel you are in the presence of your teacher. Rather than film a teacher with students, we have directed our attention down the barrel of the lens. This way the student receives the transmission of the teachings directly.

    Our students have already demonstrated the clarity of their understanding and interpretation in their written portfolios and during live discussions.

    Ultimately all acupuncture students must work in a supervised clinical setting. This could never be done online. Yellow Path students must perform a minimum of 35 supervised treatments but we encourage them to stay working at the student clinic until they feel they are ready to go it alone.

    Online learning has become normalised and providing this is mixed with enough contact time, there is no reason to believe it is any less effective than sitting in a classroom. Our students have repeatedly told us that being able to pause a lecture to reflect and take notes has been invaluable.

    We firmly believe that we have struck the right balance of online study, Zoom classes, classroom teaching and clinical training. Yellow Path clearly demonstrates the power of multidisciplinary teaching approaches through the success of our students.

Undergraduate programme questions

  • Why become a practitioner?

    There is nothing better in life than being of service to another. When you work as a practitioner your life has real meaning and the benefits between the practitioner and the patients are mutual. Receiving Five-Element Acupuncture treatment helps people to discover who they really are and make changes in life that are right for them. It’s a true honour to witness another human being emerge from dis-ease to health and on to thrive.

  • How does the undergraduate programme work?

    The undergraduate programme is designed to give maximum flexibility while maintaining the highest quality of education. The core teachings and experience that have been passed down over centuries from master to apprentice are delivered in a variety of ways - original online filmed lectures, in person workshops, interactive discussions, written word and more.

    There are four modules that build on each other over the course of the training. Each module covers theory, philosophy and clinical practice. There are assignments and exams that must be passed in order to move sequentially from module to module. Throughout the programme you are supported by your teachers, your personal mentor and our head of academic support.

  • What is the cost of the undergraduate programme?

    The fees are £12,650 or £11,385 if you pay for the entire course upfront. There are payment plans for each module where you split the cost of one module over 6 months.

    The fee includes: the entire curriculum (original online filmed material), 2 live Zoom Q&A sessions per month, mentoring and academic support, 23 days of face-to-face workshops, 60 hours observation, 50 hours of one-one-one clinical supervision, and all assessments.

  • Are there any additional costs?

    Point location classes (120 hours required in total) = £45 per half day (3.5 hours)

    Student clinical insurance = £60

    Equipment (e.g. needles, books) = roughly £300

  • Is it possible to work at the same time as studying?

    The structure of our programme gives enormous time flexibility so it is possible to work full-time and study providing you can allocate a minimum of eight hours home study a week.

  • What happens once you've completed the course?

    During Module 4 you will be treating patients under supervision and building your practice. We teach you how to further develop your practice once you qualify and how to develop marketing skills so that you can transition from your current work situation to your new vocation.

    You can attend our postgraduate workshops to continue deepening your understanding of this system of medicine/clinical skills and to connect with other practitioners.

    Your licentiate in acupuncture qualification (Lic.Ac) is just the beginning of your new vocation and learning and it is essential you understand that to be truly successful in this profession you will need to continue your studies once qualified.

  • Are you recognised by governing bodies?

    Yellow Path graduates are entitled to become members of the Complementary Therapists Association (CThA) and The Association of Five-Element Acupuncturists (AFEA). There is currently no statutory regulation of acupuncture in the UK although around the world countries have certain licensing requirements. It is your responsibility to be aware of these and be sure you have met all of their requirements. There are a number of other acupuncture organisations in the UK that practitioners can join if they hold certain qualifications and agree to work according to certain codes of practice.

    The Yellow Path ‘Licentiate in Acupuncture’ certificate does not give automatic entry to any of these other organisations, however should you wish to join one of them - an independent application must be made and they will each provide the requirements for membership that may or may not require further study.

  • How does insurance work?

    Once you have completed Modules 1-3, and you start your clinical training in Module 4, we will authorise and direct you to where you can purchase student insurance (approximately £60.00). On completion of Module 4 and achieving your Licentiate in Acupuncture (Lic Ac.) you can upgrade to full personal and professional indemnity insurance.

  • What are the costs of being a practitioner once qualified?

    One of the great things about setting up an acupuncture practice is how little is needed compared to many other businesses. In short, all you will need is:

    Work space. You can rent space on an hourly basis in an existing clinic (anywhere from £15-25 per hour) or work from home (but you will need to register with your local council for a nominal fee).

    Supplies. Acupuncture needles, Moxa, Paperwork - approximately £5.00 per patient.

    Advertising. Most advertising these days is free by building a strong presence on social media which can start the day you start your training.

    Insurance - approximately £170.00 per annum

    Professional Organisation Membership - approximately £60.00 per year

    Accountancy - accountancy for a practice is very simple and can be done online yourself. If you go above the VAT threshold you may want to hire an accountant but this is likely no more than £500.00 per annum.

  • How should I prepare for the Point Location classes?

    The presentation of the meridians and the points is found on the filmed lectures in each Module. It is essential you study at home with these films, learning the anatomy, the point numbers and become familiar with the territory. Practice on your friends and family so that you get used to touching people, applying different pressures and becoming more sensitive with your finger tips. The in person point location sessions are there to help you bring everything you have already learned at home into reality and we will correct you and adjust you. You can come and ask about any of the meridians or points at the class.

Postgraduate programme questions

  • Why do postgraduate training with Yellow Path?

    Adopting the attitude of being a humble and life-long student throughout your working life as a Five-Element Acupuncturist, will serve you and your patients well. We understand the importance of 'spiral learning' and the need to keep returning to the same wisdom and information to deepen our understanding, rather than go searching for new or supplementary information. There is no end to the learning and by being a reflective practitioner, engaging regularly in peer supervision and seeking help from teachers with more experience than you, you will continue to grow. You will ensure your current skills remain sharp and continually improve.

    By engaging with Yellow Path's postgraduate community, you will feel supported by the ongoing path of study, be regularly inspired and feel part of the profession as a whole. This support and encouragement to keep learning is essential if we as practitioners are going to keep moving on the same path of self development that we invite our patients to join.

  • Do I need to be a member of Yellow Path?

    There is no membership or fee, although we ask you to register to access our online films and the workshop calendar. We have also created packages of programmes that can be purchased and will produce a certificate as evidence of your continuing professional development (CPD, CEU's, PDA's).

  • What are the benefits?

    Yellow Path keeps you connected with a global community of like-minded practitioners. Even a monthly Q&A Zoom class, a review of some old theory or a new filmed case study could be enough to inspire you, challenge you and remind you of why you became a practitioner. Yellow Path is about community and this is very important as the clear majority of practitioners around the world work in relative isolation. As much as this autonomy is attractive in many ways, it can also be quite lonely and limiting in our growth. We need to share our success and communicate with our peers. We also need to ask for help when we lose confidence or feel we have lost our way. The learning curves in this line of work are steep and climbing those hills alone can be arduous, taxing and alienating. Engaging with Yellow Path gives you regular contact with the core teachings, your peers and teachers in so many interesting ways.

  • Is it cost effective?

    Yes. what we offer at Yellow Path is cost-effective and great value. The world has changed and we are becoming conditioned to connecting with each other remotely. Whereas before you may have taken a whole day to travel to and attend a workshop, you can now dip in and out and create a programme that works for you. Postgraduate studies are a necessary cost of 'being in business' and ideally you create an annual budget for this expense. With our variety of ways of learning you can create an annual plan that meets your individual needs.

Gerad's Acknowledgements

I would like to express my deep gratitude to JR and JB Worsley, my former teachers, for their guidance, enthusiastic encouragement and their dedication to the preservation and teaching of this system of medicine.

I would also like to thank my teachers from the College of Traditional Acupuncture. In particular I would like to thank Niki Bilton who supported me in my early years in practice and also to Peter Eckman for sharing his knowledge of the history of our tradition.

Thanks to Peter Fleming and Ann Farley for helping me learn how to ‘listen’, Johnny Childs, Mary Ellen Klee and Wren Winfield for all their support and to my patients and students who are instrumental in helping me learn my craft and give me the confidence to share the material here at Yellow Path.

Finally, I wish to thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement throughout my years in practice.


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  • Include questions a potential student may have before purchase.

    Address common questions ahead of time to save yourself an email.