Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine


Japanese Acupuncture: The Art of Touch

The emphasis is on gentle palpation in diagnosis and treatment in order to obtain constant feedback on the changes in the patient's energy state.

Japanese acupuncture is a hands-on healing art that developed alongside massage and bodywork so naturally touch is a big part of the assessment and treatment. Rather than analyze signs and symptoms in detail to prescribe herbs, treatment proceeds from a detailed assessment of the body through touch. The skillful touch employed in Japanese acupuncture has its basis in Shiatsu which is studied by most Japanese acupuncturists.

Usually thinner needles and shallower insertions are used in Japanese acupuncture, so patients experience minimal discomfort and usually find treatments relaxing. Often patients are not even aware that the needles have been inserted. The aim is to work more on the surface level where subtle energy is more accessible. Japanese acupuncturists must develop an energetic connection with the patient to engender relaxation and natural healing.

Japanese acupuncture treatments are divided into at least two steps. The first is the root treatment that addresses core energetic and structural imbalances. The subsequent steps aim to resolve symptoms and patient complaints. Symptomatic treatment is sometimes enough especially in acute conditions, but usually the underlying causes of disease must be addressed to activate the body's own healing capacity.

Japanese Acupuncture includes:


  • Gentle superficial needle techniques
  • Manaka Ion-pumping cords (no current electrodes)
  • Deeper releasing needle techniques
  • Intradermal needles and pellets (for extended stimulation of points)
  • Moxibustion (burning moxa [mugwort] to warm the body & activate healing)
  • Shiatsu, Sotai, and structural integration exercises.


Why Japanese Acupuncture?

Many people find Japanese Acupuncture treatments more comfortable and relaxing. The subtle energy work engenders mind-body balance, and soothes the emotions. A touch- based approach allows for a personalized approach to treatment that meets individual needs and address unique physical conditions.

What is Japanese Acupuncture?

Japanese Acupuncture utilizes non-invasive and painless techniques with the intention of balancing energy (Chi) and activating the body's natural healing power. Special methods are used to heat or warming acupuncture points (moxibustion) and also gentle needle techniques are used to treat infants and children (pediatric acupuncture).

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