Nearly 1,500 years ago the Chinese exposed the Japanese to the practice of Acupuncture. While many of the principals of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture still apply in Japanese Acupuncture, there are some ways that the two methods differ. Here are a couple ways that Japanese acupuncture differs from Chinese.

  • Japanese practitioners use finer needles and do not insert them as deeply as in Chinese Acupuncture. This leads to stimulation being more gentle and superficial.

  • In Chinese Acupunture you get a strong sense of de-qi, numbness, heaviness, or tingling sensations when needles are inserted. This is not of importance to Japanese practitioners and usually will not be as strong.

  • The use of Kanshinho, a guiding tube insertion method. This decreases any pain associated with the insertion of the needles.

  • The use of moxibustion a traditional heat therapy. This uses the dried leaves of the moxa plant, which are burned on the needles or smouldered directly on the skin to improve circulation.

  • A heavier emphasis on touch for treatment. Japanese practitioners palpate the abdomen to gather information about the body’s organ systems, to adjust treatment to fit patient’s needs. They also rely on touch to decide on entry points for needles; every point is palpated before the needle is inserted.

  • Japanese acupuncturist do not normally use herbs in conjunction with acupuncture. They normally will refer to a specialist Kampo (Herbal) practitioners with a degree in pharmacy.