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Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683

  Book 4b.  



Does Nora Five-element Acupuncture

Depend mostly on Psychological Effect?



Martin Wang


Five-element theory was developed in acupuncture in China. It was then passed to Japan, Korea and then to the UK. After that, its concept and its application in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases have been changed dramatically. The UK's Five-element acupuncture system (hereafter known as Nora Five-element acupuncture) depends on a patient’s life story, voice, skin color and the smell/odor of the body in setting up a diagnosis for the dominant element of the body (e.g. one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Soil, Metal and Water).

In treatment, the method emphasizes the personal relationship between the acupuncturist and the patient. The acupuncture is used as a complementary means of treatment and is used mostly to nourish the dominant element of the body, and to conduct the meridian energy from other meridians to the dominant element meridian, not caring for the various relationships among the elements (such as nourishing, restraining, reverse restraining, etc.).

Before a typical Five-element acupuncture treatment, some other clinical conditions have to be treated first, such as Attached body, Aggressive body energy, Blockage of energy flow between meridians, Unbalanced pulse (Left-right unbalance), scar tissue blockage, etc. The diagnosis and treatment of these conditions mostly has nothing to do with the Five-element theory. Therefore, we predict that the diagnosis of this acupuncture system is difficult to be accurate. It requires a very high personal ability from the acupuncturist (communication skills, the sense of body language, skin color and body odor, the willingness to come into patient’s emotional life, etc.). The placebo effect might take large part of the whole healing effect. The so-called Five-element is only a small part of the whole acupuncture treatment.  Furthermore, the treatment of various disease conditions, and the improvement of the symptoms after the treatment, could enhance the placebo effect and also tend to let the acupuncturist believe that the previous diagnosis of body-dominated element is correct.

During the so-called Five-element acupuncture course, the choice of many acupuncture points is not related to the Five-element theory. This acupuncture system is recommended mostly for the treatment of emotionally oriented issues, not for physically oriented or “out-oriented” diseases, so the favorite disease spectrum is narrow. Because there are so many differences between this UK Five-element acupuncture and the Traditional Five-element system in China, we recommend the launch of a clinical comparison study, to see if such modified acupuncture techniques could really contribute to the treatment of emotional issues, with or without the strongly recommended, very good personal relationship between acupuncturist and the patient, and with or without care of the mutual nourish-restrain relationship between the elements.


Introduction: 5
1 Main characteristics of Nora Five-element acupuncture 5
1.1 Diagnosis 6
1.2 Treatment 6
1.3 Healing Results 7
1.4 Dominant pattern of diseases 8
2 Analysis of the Nora Five-element acupuncture system 8
2.1 Diagnosis 8
2.2 Treatment 14
2.2.1 “Attached spirit” 16
2.2.2 “Aggressive energy” (AE) 16
2.2.3 Imbalance of left-right pulse 17
2.2.4 Blockage for the energy flow in meridians 18
2.2.5 Blockage due to scar tissue 19
2.2.6 Five-element treatment 19
2.3 Frequency and times of treatment 21
2.4 Healing effect 22
3 Discussion about some professional concept 28
3.1 On sense, not on logical analysis 29
3.2 Try not to stimulate the acupuncture points in the Heart meridian 31
3.3 If the blood pressure difference is more than 40 mmHg, do not use moxibustion (p64, p115) 31
3.4 Body constitution 33
3.5 Body constitution as disease diagnosis 34
3.6 How to understand the Five-element theory 36
3.7 Relationship between the meridians with the surface-inner relationship 38
3.8 To insert needle on left first is to nourish; and to insert needle on right is to deplete 39
3.9 Non-retention of needle is nourishing and leaving the needle is depleting 40
3.1 Following the Qi flow direction is nourishing and against its flow direction is depleting (p110) 41
3.11 Treatment of  “Attached Spirit” 42
3.12 Treatment of  “Imbalanced left-right pulse” 45
3.13 Acupuncture based on pulse diagnosis 46
3.14 Relationship between the personal Element of the author and the Five-element acupuncture system here 47
4 Discussion 49
References  56