The main style of acupuncture that I practice is Japanese. While there is not one singular “Japanese style”, I am drawn to looking at and treating the body through a Japanese lens. Having started my practice with hands on bodywork that included a heavy emphasis on palpation and the concept of listening intently with one’s hands, the Japanese style felt right. I am currently studying with Stephen Brown, Mark Petruzzi, Koei Kuwahara, Takahiro Funamizu, Jeffrey Dann, Kiiko Matsumoto and Nigel Dawes. The techniques used can involve acupuncture needles, but not necessarily.
A tool known as a Teishin can be used to have an effect on the fascia and acupuncture points without puncturing the skin. There are maybe different styles of a Teishin tool varying in shapes and sizes. Thanks to Takahiro Funamizu, the effectiveness of Teishin practice is becoming more widely recognized. You might ask who is a good candidate for Teishin instead of needles? The most obvious is a patient who is experiencing a heightened nervous system: someone suffering from PTSD or emotional disturbances who simply cannot handle anything perceived as abrupt. For example, it was used with the victims of the 2004 tsunami who were suffering from profound PTSD. Since showing its effectiveness there, the use of Teishin has grown, and is used on those suffering from anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD and various other mental-emotional disorders. It is not however limited to these diagnoses; I tend to use Teishin in almost all of my sessions.
Moxibustion (Moxa) is a practice where we burn an herb on top of a protective cream over an acupuncture point. It is also a fantastic tool in Japanese acupuncture that can have both a medicinal and relaxation effect. Studies have shown that Moxa will burn at the level of an infrared heat, which has medicinal benefits in and of itself. While Moxa is a means to amplify the treatment, it is quite soothing and has a calming effect on the nervous system.
While I am drawn to the Japanese style of practicing acupuncture, I am continuously evolving and developing my own “style”. The benefit of this broad field of medicine is the ability to continuously study and add to my toolbox. I will always be a student to this medicine and am committed to continuing my education.
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