I recently took a trip to downtown Chicago and attended a seminar in “Point Palpation and Japanese Needle Technique.”
The opinions are so different from person to person when you ask about Japanese acupuncture, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Most of the people say it’s too shallow and that you really have to stimulate much more so you can get an effect.
The instructor took us through the basic methods of Japanese palpation of skin and subcutaneous tissue and the painless needle technique. We discussed pulse and abdominal diagnosis, how to use the pulse and choose the points, and how to locate a point on limbs.
We practiced all of the above and then we worked on our needling technique.
Everything was quite different from TCM. Japanese acupuncture bases the treatment more on palpation, and no matter how much excess a person has, they first tonify the Yin organ that comes up in pulse and then move forward to work on the Yang.
They always start treatment with contact needling on the abdomen so they stimulate the parasympathetic system. They are checking pulse before and after this stimulation, and most of the times the pulse becomes clear and you can distinguish much easier where is the problem.
They classify pulse in: fast/slow, deep/floating, excess/deficiency and don’t really go into other categories. We didn’t checked tongue at all, but we paid more attention to color and moisture of the abdomen.
The needles used on patients are very thin (0.12-0.18 mm), overall stimulation is small, and patients don’t really experience any pain. The needle is supported most of the time, and you have to use both hands and stimulation ends when the change is obtained.
The goal in Japanese acupuncture is to boost patient inner healing power and it is considered you have a good technique when you preserve the patient’s right Qi.
The instructor underlined that we, as practitioners, have to be clear on our purpose and intention is paramount. When needling you have to use your intention and visualize Qi moving in the right direction.
I loved the seminar and I’m planning to attend the next one that will focus on “Five Phase Root Treatment in Japanese Meridian Therapy.”
If you are curious to learn about Japanese acupuncture, you can check ILAAOM and if you would like to try it, come and see me in the clinic and I’ll be happy to give you a treatment or just explain more about the needling technique.