What is Japanese Acupuncture?

Japanese acupuncture has its roots in ancient Chinese Medicine and is based on the same philosophical principals of Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang, and the same acupuncture points that make up the meridians (energetic channels of the body).

A Brief History

Acupuncture made its way from China to Japan many years ago around the 7th Century. Although it was first introduced to Japan through Korean migration in the 5th Century. There was active exchange between the Chines and Japanese people during the period of Azuchi-Momoyama through to the Edo period (1537-1868). The Japanese people that studied in China developed new styles of acupuncture treatment in Japan and new innovative techniques were created that did not exist in China, such as the invention of the insertion tube that enabled the insertion of a needle without any pain. It was during this period that the people practicing acupuncture opened there own private schools in Japan and the practice of Japanese acupuncture flourished.

The fundamental principles of ancient Chinese Medicine where maintained through the study of the Chinese classics. This study of the classics, and the development and continual refining of techniques were strongly focused upon and continue to do so today. This enables the practice of Japanese acupuncture to continually evolve.

The Differences Between Japanese and Chinese Acupuncture

There are various styles of Japanese acupuncture and in many the key differences compared to Traditional Chinese acupuncture lie in the use of extra fine needles. For instance, the most commonly used Chinese needles that are used are 0.25mm to 0.30mm in diameter, while the Japanese needles range between 0.12mm to 0.20mm in diameter. Shallow or non-insertion needling techniques are applied and the needle stimulation is minimal to none, making the treatment very gentle, relaxing and almost painless.

“The effectiveness of Japanese acupuncture is not compromised by its gentle approach and can actually provide a very powerful response in assisting the body with healing”.

Moxibustion (moxa), the burning of the herb mugwort directly or indirectly on the acupuncture points has been expanded upon from traditional methods with the development of new techniques and processing of the herb to its finest quality.

There is also the emphasis on palpation (a practice using the sensory skill of touch) of the abdomen, along the meridians and the acupuncture points that is not commonly used in Traditional Chinese acupuncture. Palpation continues throughout the acupuncture session to determine changes in the connective tissues and muscles observing the body’s response to the treatment. This allows the practitioner to adjust the treatment accordingly, as the treatment is progressing, and makes the treatment highly individualised.

Acupuncture and the Meridians

Acupuncture is an ancient East Asian modality that is used to treat a wide range of medical ailments. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific acupuncture points that are part of the body’s energetic pathways called the meridians or channels.

“If “Ki/Qi” is disrupted by emotional upset, injury, poor diet or pathological factors it becomes blocked, deficient or excessive, then symptoms or illness occurs. This is where the needles and moxa come in to restore the correct flow of energy and encourages the body’s own healing abilities”.

These meridians run superficially along the body and have internal pathways connecting to the organs. The flow of energy (“Ki” in Japanese or “Qi” in Chinese) throughout the meridians is said to be responsible for the circulation of blood, keeping the body warm, fighting disease and for all the complex biological functions.

Moxibustion (Moxa Therapy)

Moxa is a herb (Mugwort) used along side acupuncture and it is burnt either directly or indirectly on the acupuncture points, such as burning the moxa on the end of needles. The warming and healing properties of the herb have a strong effect for the purpose of activating the flow of Ki/Qi, which further stimulates the acupuncture points and enhances the treatment.

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Enso clinic is located at 176 Cotham Road, Kew, in Melbourne's inner eastern suburbs, where I practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

If you would like to book an appointment or know if acupuncture can help you please fill out this form or call me on 0403 788 943.