Japanese Acupuncture

Tokyo Declaration on Japanese Acupuncture

From 2011 Tokyo Declaration on Japanese Acupuncture (full text available on Japan Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion website)

Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion are characterized by six distinctive features.

The first is that “touch” is the most important concept. Diagnostically, palpation is valued; especially pulse diagnosis has been emphasized. The typical example is “meridian treatment” that resulted from the development of a pulse diagnosis of six-position pulse diagnosis based on a unique interpretation of pulse diagnosis. Besides, a variety of palpatory techniques including abdominal diagnosis beyond the Chinese classic medical book “Nanjing(Classic of Difficult Issues)”, Chapter 16 have been newly developed and have evolved gradually. In clinical settings, emphasis has been placed on touching the skin and selecting acupuncture points on the basis of responses of the points as well as practicing treatments frequently on the sites of cutaneous and subcutaneous indications such as tenderness and in duration.

The second is that the development of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment along with diagnostic devices is advanced from the Western medicine perspective. Actually,tools for objective diagnoses ¾ such as meridian patterns of Ryodo-raku (Ryodomeridian therapy, Ryodoraku Medicine), electro-dermal points, and sadenten (potential difference point) ¾ and acupuncture point detector have been developed in parallel to the development of therapies. Particularly to the diagnosis oflocomotive disorders, manual test (physical examination) has been applied,suggesting the emphasis of objectivity. In addition, scientific clinical and basic researches have progressed into practical utilization in Japan.Given these facts and a very large number of patients with locomotive disorders, which are more likely to be treated with acupuncture and moxibustion(rather originated from Western medicine), valuable needle insertion method for local regions have evolved.

Third, promoted development of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment using less burdened and soft and tender stimulation has resulted in realization of kanshin-ho (needling method using a guide tube), thin and shallow tender needling, contact needling, infant needle,intradermal needle, thumbtack needle, laser acupuncture and electro-moxibustion.

Fourth, acupuncture and moxibustion practitioners in Japan are most commonly taking a middle course between Western medicine and classical medicine (based on the Chinese classic books “ Suwen [Plain Questions]” and “Lingshu [Miraculous Pivot]”) in diagnosis, therapy, technique, and philosophy. The reason may be the flexibility of Japanese people. In fact,tool-assisted treatment such as hyperthermia and electrotherapy, massage,chiropractic, judo therapy, and combination therapy with Western medicine are very popular.

Fifth, moxibustion treatment is highly thriving. Particularly the practice of tonetsu-kyu (diathermic moxibustion) is quite unique technique in the world. This may be attributed to excellent moxa with low burning temperature that has been developed with delicate technology capability.

Finally, the treatment of the presymptomatic state referred to as ‘mibyo’ follows. At any acupuncture and moxibustion clinic,practitioners treat not only affected patients but also a considerable proportion of healthy or apparently healthy people with mibyo for health control and promotion, as is known by yojo no kyu (moxibustion for life nurturing) and sanri no kyu (moxibustion to legs, ST 36).