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10 Days in Japan

by Apr 3, 2017

I just came back from my Japan trip and while still a bit tired, I’m very happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to go and study there.


The program was 6 intensive days with each day focused on a different subject. I loved the fact that each instructor had a different approach for needling and diagnosing, which allowed us as students to practice all styles and see which one resonates more with us.

Their diagnoses seemed easier for me because they mostly look at the patient, and palpation has the biggest role indeciding the treatment. I’m also thinking that the two Japanese acupuncture seminars I took in January and February helped a lot. I didn’t feel overwhelmed with information and I already knew the basics, which allowed me to deepen my knowledge. 

A couple of things that stayed with me and might interest you:

  • most of the practitioners don’t look at the tongue (just one of the five instructors checked the tongue);
  • they love moxibustion and use it a lot;
  • they underline that it’s not about the needles, but about your energy and intention as a practitioner, and you should be able to obtain the same results even without needling;
  • they seem to be more inventive and always look for an answer, and when a treatment doesn’t bring the expected results, they look for something else and usually end up inventing a different approach; and
  • as I saw in my other seminars – always tonify first, and then sedate.


They are disciplined and work on themselves as practitioners on all levels: mental, emotional, and physical. They have a sort of compassion and respect that I never saw in any other country, and I really think that their acupuncture style is born from all that.

Even if the program was intensive, each afternoon we tried to go out and wander around the city, trying to see as much as we could. Kyoto is the old capital and you can always find a temple or a shrine just about anywhere. The whole city is spotless; no cigarettes on the street, but everybody smokes. Residential areas go dark and empty after 6 pm, but downtown is packed with young people even at midnight.

From all the temples and shrines I saw, I loved the most Sanjusangendo Temple. Unfortunately, they don’t allow pictures inside the temple but if you would like to see some you can check this link:


Would I recommend the program? 

I loved the program, but it all depends on what you plan to do in your practice. If you are satisfied with just looking at the tongue, taking the pulse and coming up with a standard TCM diagnosis and treatment, maybe this program is not for you. If you want to go beyond tongue colors and look more carefully into the patient, try Japanese acupuncture, and I guarantee you won’t regret it.

I’ll let you enjoy some pictures and if you have any questions about the program or Japanese acupuncture, email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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About the Author

Iuliana Lixandru

Iuliana Lixandru

Hello! I'm Iuliana and I'm a student at National University of Health Sciences in the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) program.


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