5 Element Certification Program


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5 Element Certification Program

5-Element Practitioner Certification Course

This course dramatically helps health care professionals learn how to sense the essence of the person underneath their symptoms, incorporating the spirit of wholeness and balance effectively into any method of treatment you currently use.

Who this course is for:

  • Health care professionals including Counselors, Nurses, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Massage Therapists, Healing Touch and other Energy Workers who believe more in focusing on health rather than disease.
  • Those interested in getting an invaluable head start on future Acupuncture education – learn non-needle techniques you can use immediately such as Pulse & Tongue, Moxibustion, Cupping, Gua Sha, and Nutrition.
  • Practitioners who are hungry to deepen their current clinical practice by using the brilliant thought process of 5-Element Acupuncture to energetically assess health imbalances in order to treat the whole person.

Who this course is NOT for:

  • General public with no prior experience in the health care field. (We do also offer great workshops for non-professionals – ask us for more information.)
  • Practitioners stuck in wanting to only chase and treat symptoms. While treating symptoms may seem effective, we’ll be going into the whole person so you’ll have to be comfortable with that angle.
  • Those unwilling to put actual time and effort into readings, research, and on-site clinical observation.

East vs West – Get Ready to Turn Your Thinking Upside Down

Our school’s philosophy is that every medicine has its own gifts that it brings to help heal. Eastern vs Western medicine is not a competition, but merely a different way of viewing a problem and dealing with it. Often they work extremely well together.

For example, the Western nutritional aspects of breaking foods down by fat, carbohydrate, and protein content is vastly different than the Eastern concept of the Energy of Food being warming, cooling, damp-producing, or drying.

At the same time, the Western diagnosis of a disease that involves neuro-muscular pathology related to ACTH inactivity, respiratory decline, and auto-immune glandular response might correlate to the Eastern assessment of Earth not feeding Metal.

Treatment from a Western point of view might involve surgery and management with a variety of medications including immune-suppressants. 5-Element Treatment might include dietary therapy to re-balance Earth, moxibustion to strengthen the underlying constitutional deficiency and internal dampness, and acupressure plus QiGong exercises to re-balance Metal.

How Did My Pulse Tell You This Headache Is A Wood Element Imbalance?

Imagine you have a patient come into your practice. You note a number of reported symptoms and their level of pain.

Then, seated across from this person, you gently press your fingers into their wrists, listening to subtle rhythms and sensing the distorted flow of Qi happening in the moment.

  • One area of their pulse is too full, another area is too empty.
  • You notice they have a tinge of color visible at the corners of their eyes, and their voice goes into a distinct pattern whenever they talk about their illness.
  • Their choice of words unveils emotions surrounding the situation – hidden in language yet visible to the trained practitioner.
  • The vague body aroma in the background confirms the Element most loudly asking for attention and balance.

5-Element Theory gets deeply into reading the pulse, Acupuncture style, and allowing it – along with other observations - to be a major guiding factor in the entire treatment plan. Are you ready to start becoming an expert at this amazing art?

If you’ve ever heard that pulse reading is extremely difficult or takes 30 years to learn – don’t believe it! We’ll make pulse come alive for you, and show you nuances in live clinic that will help you embody the feel and meaning of how the blood and qi flows through the body.

In Chinese medicine, the definition of health is:

“The smooth, abundant, appropriate, and harmonious flow of Qi.”

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pulse, and when we work with the goal to balance the pulse, we’ll see many seemingly unrelated symptoms improve and even disappear – without acknowledging them directly, but by treating the wholeness of the pulse.

The 5-Element Practitioner Certification Course Includes:

· Fascinating East Asian Medicine History and Philosophy

· Laws of 5-Elements and How To Apply Them To Your Current Practice

· Pulse Diagnosis

· Hara Diagnosis (Abdominal Palpation)

· Moxa, Cupping, and Gua Sha non-needle techniques

· Tao of Nutrition

· Tongue and Face Diagnosis

· In-depth Exploration of Each Element: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal

BONUS: You don’t just learn about it, you get to do it!

· Clinical Observation and Practice To Experience Real-Life Application with Outstanding Instructor Feedback

· Certification from Alaska Institute is a great addition to your professional bio and resume.

Here’s what one of our students has to say about learning 5-Elements:

“I love this way of thinking. It makes so much sense once you get used to it, and you can apply it to any health issues – no matter how complex they seem – to have a way of looking at someone’s health that actually has real hope and expectation of healing. Lamar, the instructor, brings a life to the pulse, and her experience and way of showing you exactly what to look for is so inspiring! Your practice will improve so much by learning and using this information.” ~Cynthia M.

About the Instructor, Lamar Gunter, L.Ac.:

Lamar has over 20 years experience as a licensed acupuncturist. Combined with her previous extensive background in the Mental Health field, she provides powerful insights into the energy of emotions, spirit of the points, and understanding the poetry of the Five Element flow.

She is the Program Director of our 2120 Hour Acupuncture Program, has a private practice in 5-Element Acupuncture, and heads up our bustling Community Acupuncture Clinic. In addition, Lamar believes strongly in giving back to the community by offering free treatment for Military and Veterans. She has helped hundreds of Alaskans achieve better health and less pain, and is greatly admired and respected.

Cost of Course:

This 240 Hour Course is offered in 3 16-week Modules.

Module 1 (96 Hours) $1,920

Module 2 (80 Hours) $1,600

Module 3 (64 Hours) $1,280

See the next page tab for a detailed course overview.

Call us to register: 907-279-0135

If you have more questions or would like to talk about setting up a payment plan, please call us at 907-279-0135. We’ll be happy to give you a tour and meet with you.

Course Details

for Health Care Professionals


This certification course is being offered to fill a unique niche within the professional health care field as the industry as a whole is becoming more integrated by combining Eastern and Western thought processes and treatment modalities.

Participants will learn to recognize, utilize, and immediately implement the profound model of 5-Element Diagnosis (energetic assessment based in Chinese medicine practice) into your own health care practice.

Learning this thought process in the way that it relates to the whole person, including their physical symptoms, emotional dispositions, and their ultimate relation to and purpose in life, will allow you to refine your current expertise while expanding into greater areas that will benefit all of your patients.

This course is especially relevant to psychotherapists and other counselors, massage therapists and bodyworkers, nutrition advisors, nurses, and naturopathic doctors.

This course also provides outstanding entry-level comprehension and practices that are directly applicable to pursuing future education in Acupuncture.


240 Hours Offered in 3 16-week Modules

Class Structure: The Foundation Level kicks off with a weekend orientation and introductory sessions for each class.  The weekend class runs from 9-6 on Saturday and 2-6 on Sunday. The Sunday class is a clinic session and is held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Community Acupuncture Clinic.  Remaining classroom hours are held in 2-3 hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Clinical labs are held on either Saturdays from 12-4 or Sundays 2-6.

  • Modules are offered as a whole part and must be taken as such as all information within the module relates to and builds on each other.  Courses within the module are not available individually.
  • Modules must be taken in order, with the satisfactory completion of the previous module required before entry into the next module.

MODULE 1 (96 Hours) $1,920


Explore the historical, philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of TEAM cosmology from shamanism to modern day Barefoot Doctors. Learn the basic laws of 5 Element Theory and learn to apply them to your current practice.  Spend some quality time with the Tao Te Ching and the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.  Learn how the ear is related to the Kidneys and the Water element and the eyes to the Liver and Wood, and why that matters.

Required texts:       The Law of Five Elements by Dianne Connelly

The Web that Has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuk

DIAGNOSIS: THE PULSE  - 16 hours (4 Hour Class, 12 Hours Lab)

Diagnosis in TEAM is based on the Four Examinations: OBSERVATION, AUSCULTATION/OLEFACTION, PALPATION & INTERROGATION. We begin with palpation of the pulse. Reading the pulse of another person is not only applicable in the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine. In touching the energy of another through the radial pulse, you are establishing rapport, assessing the quality of QI in each of the 12 regular meridians, assessing the person’s physical and emotional state and the strength of his/her vital force. There are several styles of pulse reading in TEAM.  We will focus on Five Element pulse reading, calling on the theories and laws we present in the Introduction to TEAM class.


In each module, we explore in depth, the Element(s) corresponding to the current season.  In this class you learn the nature of the Element and its associated phenomena. You will learn about the Officials/Zang Fu, the meridians associated with the Element and the location, spirit and functions of significant acupoints. You will learn to identify an Earth Constitution and what that signifies to you as a practitioner. You will learn to identify the Elemental “guardian” by diagnosing the color, sound, odor and emotion associated with that Element.  Module I begins in Late Summer and carries into Autumn and so we begin with the Earth Element followed by Metal.  

MODULE 2 (80 Hours)  $1,600


We continue our exploration of the Elements with Water and Wood. The class follows the same format as the previous Element class.


We follow up Pulse Reading with another method of palpatory assessment, focusing this time on the abdomen.  You will learn how to assess a patient’s health by palpating the abdominal region. The Hara is the area of the torso between the symphysis pubis and the rib cage. You will learn to locate Front Mu Alarm points and the Umbilical pulse and how to treat based on your findings. You will begin to correlate your pulse readings with your Hara diagnosis.

MOXA, CUPPING & GUA SHA -  24 Hours (6 Hours Class, 18 hours Lab)

These 3 modalities are often used in conjunction with acupuncture treatments, however, each can be used as a stand alone therapy. In this class you will learn how to use these techniques safely, determine when they are appropriate and contraindications for use.

MODULE 3 (64 Hours) $1,280


We conclude our introduction to the Elements with the Fire Element.  The Heart Official, called the Supreme Controller is the epitome of Fire and is so important to the health of the kingdom of the bodymindspirit, there are 3 supporting Fire Officials. We will spend some time exploring the concept of Shen in relation to Mind and Spirit.  We will look at the relationship between the Heart and the Officials we studied in previous modules.


The Tongue and Face are the Observation aspect of the Four Inspections.   The tongue can tell you the strength of stomach qi, the presence and strength of pathogens, whether an acute illness is lessening or strengthening. It can tell you if someone has too much “dampness” in the body, or is to dry. The face reflects the health of the spirit as well as diagnostic information about the person’s constitution.


In this class, you will learn the essential principles of Qi nutrition focusing on how to nourish  and protect the digestive system. We will introduce the fundamental concepts and language of food energetics.  The class culminates in a banquet to celebrate the completion of the Foundation Certification series using principles learned in this class.



Cost of Program:

  • Tuition: Complete course is $4,800.  The breakdown of each module is listed above.
  • Required textbooks may be purchased for Kindle or from Amazon at considerable discounts, or are available at The Oriental Healing Arts Center bookstore.  Approximate new cost is $62.

Other fees: Students will be allowed to use our clinic supplies to learn cupping,  moxibustion and gua sha, and may choose to purchase their own for professional use.

  • Average cost for cupping supplies is $42-$60.
  • Average cost for moxibustion supplies is $25-$60.
  • Average cost for gua sha supplies is $15.

Materials and Equipment:  Materials including patient tables, massage chairs, and topical lubrications, and other clinic supplies required for the course will be provided with the exception of note taking supplies.

Certification Requirements:  Successful completion of the entire program by a professional health care provider.

Non-Certification Option:  A non-health care provider desiring to take this course for personal interest only may interview with the instructor who will determine whether or not they are an appropriate fit for the course.

CEUs:  CEUs are provided for professional Massage Therapists.


Types of Tuition Accepted: 
¨ Self-Pay
¨ Native Grants or Scholarships

Method of Payment for Tuition:

  • Tuition must be received by the first day of class.
  • Tuition may be paid by individual courses registered for, pay as you go.
  • For classes with individual or combined tuition totaling over $2,500.00, a payment plan is available for a minimum of 25% down with the remaining balance plus a $200 fee divided into equal monthly installments. Tuition must be paid in full by the end of the in-class time of the last course. A separate “Payment Plan Agreement” form is completed for all in-house payment plans.  All other payment arrangements on case-by-case basis, granted only at the discretion of the Spiritual Director of The Oriental Healing Arts Center.


Refund Policy and Student’s Right to Cancel Until the First Day of Class, Close of Business:

Refunds will be based on the last date of attendance and the amount of tuition paid at the time of withdrawal.


For courses with 80 hours or less, for a period of time after instruction has begun but before the second day of class or the equivalent, Alaska Institute (hereafter AK INSTITUTE) shall refund 100 percent of the tuition paid.  On or after the second day of class no refund is given.

AK INSTITUTE will acknowledge the student’s cancellation or withdrawal, in writing, within five (5) business days after receipt of notification.

Refunds to the student will be made within thirty (30) days after receipt of notification of the student’s withdrawal, or 30 days after the student’s last recorded date of physical attendance, whichever is earlier.

For courses with more than 80 hours, our standard Refund Policy in the vocational education policies section applies.

Refunding grants or scholarships:

For students that have paid tuition with funds from a grant or scholarship, any refund due will first be sent to the grant or scholarship funding company on behalf of the student with any additional remaining balance refunded to the student.  The student assumes full responsibility for repayment of any loan or grant obligations that are not covered by a tuition refund.

Dates and Times January 2017

5 Element Practitioner Certification Course Schedule
Scheduled to begin January 2017

Module 1 Schedule:  1/7/17 - 4/27/17

·         The course begins with an Orientation weekend on Saturday 1/7/17, 9:00am.  There is a 1-hour introductory meeting followed by classes.  There is a 45-minute lunch break on campus.  On Sunday 1/8/17, 2:00pm, students will participate in our regular Community Acupuncture Clinic during which they will practice reading pulses.

·         84 hours class time Tuesdays and Thursdays

·         12 hours clinic/lab time – availability times shown, clinic must be pre-scheduled with the instructor.













1/7 – Orientation 9am-6pm

1/8 – Orientation 2-6pm


Clinic Available 12-3pm


Clinic Available 3:30-7:30pm

Clinic Available 12-3pm



Clinic Available, schedule with instructor

Clinic Available, schedule with instructor


Module 2 Schedule:  5/2/17 – 8/24/17

·         62 hours class time Tuesdays and Thursdays

·         18 hours clinic/lab time – availability times shown, clinic must be pre-scheduled with the instructor.









Clinic Available 12-3pm



Clinic Available 3:30-7:30pm

Clinic Available 12-3pm



Clinic Available, schedule with instructor

Clinic Available, schedule with instructor

Module 3 Schedule:  9/5/17 - 12/21/17

·         64 hours class time Tuesdays and Thursdays

















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