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Tag Archive | "acupuncture"

Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion

                The acupuncture and moxibustion practiced in recent years in Japan can be divided broadly into three schools: the stimulation therapy school, which is the largest; a school which follows the contemporary Chinese style; and finally the neoclassic school, which uses meridian flow theory. In the new century this third group is becoming more influential with the emergence of young healers who demand a deeper and more authentic understanding of the theory and technique of the art of acupuncture and moxibustion.

Ikeda Masakazu, the author of this book, is a well-known person in the field of modern Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion. After graduating from a government accredited acupuncture and moxibustion school, he was initiated into the art of acupuncture and moxibustion by his elder brother, the late Ikeda Takio.

Ikeda Takio was a torchbearer of the second generation who transmitted the spirit and skills of neoclassical acupuncture and moxibustion, and was well known as an excellent healer. He trained and polished his clinical technique under Inoue Keiri, one of the pioneers of the neoclassical art in the Showa era.

After his brother’s death, Ikeda Masakazu devoted himself to the study of the Japanese and Chinese classics, developing and elaborating his theory and methods within the framework of the meridian flow theory and the treatment methods of the Showa era pioneers. He also refined the art of pulse diagnosis, and devised some new techniques regarding the use of meridians and their points.

While his brother Takio specialized in acupuncture and moxibustion, Masakazu also studies medicinal herbs and their uses, and his knowledge in this area is profound. He has already written and published many books, including guides to the classics, handbooks on the art of acupuncture and moxibustion, and texts on clinical technique.

This present book covers, in detail, the use of traditional acupuncture and moxibustion in contemporary Japan, with reference to a large number of clinical case studies.

Imura Koji Director Nishitenma Clinic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion pick up the corner of understanding; the student was supposed to look for himself to see what was underneath. Ikeda Sensei believes that it is important not to give too detailed an explanation, as this will inhibit the function of the discerning mind. Given that, we will address some of the basic approaches in this introduction, if for no other reason than English-speaking readers do not have access to the more than twenty other books that Ikeda Sensei has written in Japanese. Because it is assumed that all readers have a basic grounding in the concepts of East Asian medicine, and because of the constraints of space, this introduction will be brief; it is designed to simply provide the reader with the conceptual tools to understand and use the main text.

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Meridian concepts in Japanese acupuncture

            Japanese acupunctureThe concept of meridians is a very important and fundamental pail of the traditional medicine that originated in China a few thousand years ago. However, since the existence of meridians had not been proven anatomically, the theory was treated somewhat flippantly, and some Western doctors even asserted that it was superstition. Consequently, the theory of meridian flow was largely discarded and meridian points became reinterpreted as ‘stimulative points’ for applying needles and moxa.

In this manner, herbal medicine and acupuncture and moxibustion were driven from their position as mainstream medicine to that of an alternative medicine, and the knowledge and practice of classic medical theory and its techniques gradually declined. The art of acupuncture and moxibustion especially, based on the theory of the course of flow in the meridians, went rapidly out of use. ‘Stimulative points’ therapy became the norm, divorced from the original meridian flow theory.

This perversion of traditional medicine was utterly unacceptable to doctors and healers who studied classical theory, and by the Showa era, which began in 1925 (almost 60 years after the Meiji Restoration), an acute sense of impending crisis prompted a group of young and concerned acupuncture and moxibustion practitioners to take action. Included in this group were Yanagiya Sorei, Okabe Sodo, Takeyama Shinichiro, and Inoue Keiri.

These healers, who had pursued the authentic path of acupuncture and moxibustion, were convinced through their experience in daily clinics and study of the classics that acupuncture and moxibustion could only be truly effective when practiced using classical concepts and techniques. Because sixty years had already passed, they felt a pressing need to find senior healers who were continuing to practice using the exact classical methods. They finally found an old healer, Yagishita Katsunosuke (1854-1946), in a small, poor fishing village in Chiba prefecture.

Yanagiya Sorei wrote: “There are many criticisms of classical traditional acupuncture and moxibustion treatment based on meridian flow theory, claiming, for example, that it isn’t scientific. However, the facts cannot be denied, Mr. Yagishita has been getting brilliant results using this theory. The results speak for themselves.”

Takeyama had this to say about Yagishita: “When I met him he was 88, but he was very energetic and looked to be only in his 60s. A person of no wants, he is afraid of nothing, and incomparably pure and noble. ”

Before the age of 60, Yagishita had practiced acupuncture and moxibustion in addition to his day job of running a haberdashery store. Thereafter he devoted himself entirely to his patients. Acupuncture and moxibustion were, for him, an art for the people and for the world. *

Okabe Sodo received Yagishita’s treatment directly and also recorded some important information that he received. For example, “For illness of the tongue, use the Heart meridian; for illness of the mouth and lips, use the Spleen meridian; for gout, apply moxibustion to BL-18 as well as GB-31 and LI-11, and apply needles to GV-20, GB-30, and LI-15; for illness of the ears, use the Triple Burner meridian on the arms and hands, the Gallbladder meridian on the legs and feet, and the Kidney meridian.”

In addition to Yagishita, Mori Dohaku is mentioned by Kamichi Sakae, an investigator of the history of modern Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion, as a classical healer who strongly influenced those young lions of the Showa era.

Those who were working for the revival of traditional acupuncture and moxibustion received great encouragement from their encounters with Yagishita and Mori, and from around 1920 to 1930 they worked on developing a neoclassical meridian treatment art based on tradition which was able to stand side by side with the scientific’ acupuncture and moxibustion art that the government had been advocating. This quest for a new acupuncture and moxibustion system, which involved the rediscovery and animation of the classic art, could be called a renaissance in the history of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion.

excerpts from The practice of japanese acupuncture and moxibustion IKEDA MASAKAZU

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