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Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Acupuncture, Health Hub |

Why I chose to practice Japanese Acupuncture Meridian Therapy

Christina Atkins ~ Japanese Acupuncture

Why I chose Japanese Meridian Therapy

Why I chose to practice Japanese Meridian Therapy 

At college 20 years ago, we were all taught Chinese Acupuncture (TCM).  After all, this is where to all started.  It was interesting and mainly symptomatic-based. I found it effective but it hurt.  When I did my practical time in China, the needles were even thicker than in the West. The mantra was “no pain, no gain”.  Furthermore, I well understand this notion, as I am Chinese and was raised in such a “tough love” manner.

As years passed, I became increasingly reluctant to induce pain in my patients. In fact,  so much so, that I considered giving up Acupuncture altogether.  Something about it did not resonate with me.

My curiosity was sparked by Japanese acupuncture.  Some of my colleagues had dabbled in this form of acupuncture. I had my first treatment.  Although I didn’t feel the needles penetrating my skin, I found it powerful.

Through my discovery of Japanese style Acupuncture, I found a renewed passion for my modality.  It breathed life into my practice.  Consequently, I continue to be inspired from teachers, primarily Masakazu Ikeda, whose practice is firmly rooted in the classical of texts that are 2000 years old.

The most notable differences with Japanese Acupuncture are:-


Palpation is an integral part of a Japanese acupuncturist’s practice. We feel the temperature and texture of the skin.  As Japanese Acupuncturists, we palpate the hara (abdomen), which is an important diagnostic tool.  We look for the live or active acupuncture points and engage with the living human being in front of us.  I believe the interplay of energy between the practitioner and patient is really important. This interplay can greater determine and impact on the outcome of the treatment.  Throughout the treatment, I continually reference back to the patient to see what changes are occurring by checking the pulse.  The pulse guides me, as the practitioner, to see how the body is responding to the treatment.  It  lets me know if I am on the right track.

Thinner needles, Shallow Insertion or Deeper insertion

I love that the needles I use are thinner and therefore less invasive.  Also, I feel that due to component of palpation in the Japanese Acupuncture style, I can subtly nudge the patient back to a place of wellness as the body opens itself to finding balance.  I come across many people with needle phobias that say they honestly enjoy their Japanese Acupuncture treatments.

What is that smell?  Its Moxabustion or mugwort 

I am a self-confessed moxa junky.  Actually, I love using it in my practice in all its forms. And, I use it frequently.  Moxabustion is a herb that is dried, rolled up and placed on specific points on the body.  Once lit, the moxa creates a deeply penetrating and healing heat in the body.  In fact, the soft cones of moxa that I roll, fill up the empty exhausted well within a person.  It is like a warm, nourishing soup that fills the void of exhaustion.  In addition to this, I love the small, but powerful, rice grain or thread moxa that penetrates deeply into an acupuncture point to revive life into a channel again.  In addition, Moxa creates a deeply relaxing response in my clients.

To me everyone is a puzzle 

When working with human beings, we must use a different key to nudge the body into wellness.  I believe that you don’t need a bulldozer to create change.  In fact, a gentle stroke of a feather can more powerfully and effectively lead the body towards the direction of good health by redirecting the flow of the river of energy within.

Japanese Acupuncture is a true art form

When I first went to Japan to spend time with one my teachers, Edward Obaidy and saw him practice, I was in awe. This was the first time I truly recognized Japanese Acupuncture as an art form.  Edward’s Sensei’s hands lovingly danced along patients’ body, filling up the spaces that were empty, moving along energy that was stuck all the whilst laughing, engaging and teaching us all that we are all the same humans doing our best to strive towards wellness.

~ By Christina Atkins, Japanese Acupuncturist