how is the japanese method different to the standard one pls?

Asked by sonson01

2 answers

hello, there are different styles of Japanese acupuncture, but usually they use a lot of abdominal diagnosis and reflex diagnosis- depending on areas which are tight or tender on the abdomen. The acupuncture points are mainly the same as with TCM acupuncture but some are slightly different, or used in different ways. They both evolved from the same source, but vary slightly- also indeed Japanese acupuncture usually uses finer needles and gentler techniques- sometimes using 'thread moxa', ion pumping cords or 'tiger warmers'. Traditionally acupuncture was often practised by blind people in Japan which may be one reason they developed a sensitivity to palpation. However, TCM acupuncturists often have varying styles too and some blend aspects of both (and Korean acupuncture!)
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I am a physiotherapist who also practises Acupuncture.
Acupuncture treatment either follows the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) model, or the Western Medical Acupuncture model.
TCM is based on energy flow around the body, and problems are related to energy being blocked or over-produced. It describes problems in terms of the 5 elements of nature, and needles are inserted to normalise energy flow and balance the elements.
In Western Medical Acupuncture, the same points are stimulated by needle, but problems are described in Medical terms, so muscle strain, arthritic joints, etc. The needles are used to stimulate endorphins (natural pain-killers), relax tender points in muscles, stimulate circulation near an injury, and reduce the pain felt from problem areas.
You may need to try both to see which works best for you.
Kind regards


Japanese acupuncture is more gentle and less invasive as compared to Tradition Chinese Medicine method. In Japanese acupuncture needles are either inserted either shallowly or not inserted at all (Toyohari style). Japanese method is quite subtle and associated with primitive and delicate signals which travel through the meridian system removing blockages and stimulating the healthy energy flow. Chinese method is more material or physical, needles are inserted and in most cases stimulation is applied as well. Both methods work but sensitive people might prefer Japanese style.
I hope it helps
Elena Gerasimova