What is Japanese Acupuncture?

Japanese Acupuncture is a distinct style of acupuncture that originated and developed in Japan. It differs from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture in its gentle and minimalist approach.

Whereas TCM acupuncture utilizes deeper needle insertion and manipulation, Japanese acupuncture employs very shallow and gentle needling techniques. The focus is on enhancing the flow of ki or vital energy along the meridians rather than moving qi or blood stagnation.

Some of the key characteristics and principles of Japanese acupuncture include:

– Emphasis on palpation diagnosis to identify areas of imbalance
– Superficial and subtle needling, often using thinner needles
– Gentle stimulation of acupoints and meridians
– Focus on supporting the body’s natural healing ability
– Consideration of emotional state and mind-body connection
– Integration of abdominal palpation and diagnosis
– Aim to regulate and harmonize ki flow in the body

The therapeutic goal is to re-establish balance in a holistic manner by stimulating self-healing mechanisms. Treatment is tailored to each patient’s constitution and needs. Overall, the Japanese approach values patient comfort, relaxation and gentle care.

Origins and Historical Development

Japanese acupuncture finds its origins in the introduction of Chinese medicine to Japan. During the Asuka and Nara periods, from 592 to 794 AD, Chinese medicine was brought to Japan along with other aspects of Chinese culture such as Buddhism. There was extensive cultural exchange and flourishing trade between China and Japan, allowing Chinese medical knowledge to take hold.

The Heian period from 794 to 1192 AD saw continued exchange between the two countries. Chinese medicine became widely studied and practiced by the Japanese, who adapted it into their own medical system. Acupuncture in particular was embraced, with the first acupuncture books published in Japan during this time.

Finally, during the Azuchi-Momoyama period from 1573 to 1600, private medical schools began to be established. These schools helped formalize the practice of acupuncture and created some of the early styles of Japanese acupuncture that would continue to develop.

The Edo Period (17th-19th Centuries)

The Edo Period in Japan, lasting from 1603 to 1868, was characterized by over two centuries of isolationism and internal peace. During this time, Japan largely cut itself off from foreign influence and focused on developing its own unique culture and traditions.

This isolation allowed for the emergence of distinct styles of Japanese acupuncture to flourish without outside interference. With the country at peace and social order maintained by the Tokugawa Shogunate, people had the stability to devote themselves to perfecting the practice of acupuncture. Schools of acupuncture proliferated, each developing their own approaches and techniques.

Key figures that contributed to the growth of Japanese acupuncture during the Edo Period include Waichi Sugiyama, who founded the Waichi-ryū style; Ryōken Yoshimasu, who established the Yoshimasu-ryū style; and Shōken Ono, who created the Ono-ryū style. These masters trained students who would go on to found additional schools of acupuncture. Their innovative techniques and philosophical insights helped shape Japanese acupuncture into the unique tradition it is today.

The isolation of the Edo Period allowed Japanese acupuncture to incubate and evolve without disruption. The domestic stability and lack of warfare enabled acupuncture knowledge to be preserved, expanded, and passed down from generation to generation. This fertile environment gave rise to the diverse array of acupuncture styles practiced in Japan.

The Meiji Period (1868-1912)

The Meiji period marked a major turning point for traditional Japanese medicine and acupuncture. In 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate ended and the Meiji Restoration began. This opened Japan to increased trade and contact with the Western world after over two centuries of isolation.

With exposure to Western scientific ideas and medicine came a decline in the status and practice of acupuncture in Japan. The Meiji government sought to modernize Japan and align more closely with Western practices. As a result, the government promoted Western medicine as superior to traditional Japanese medicine. Acupuncture in particular was dismissed as superstition and began to be seen as old-fashioned and unscientific.

During the Meiji period, the practice of acupuncture significantly declined. Acupuncture schools and clinics were closed down as the government pushed for adoption of Western medical education. Knowledge of acupuncture diminished as new generations were no longer formally trained. While some traditional healers continued to practice, acupuncture lost much of its prominence that it had previously held in Japanese society for centuries.

The favoring of Western medicine combined with the modernization and Westernization of Japan led to a sharp decline in acupuncture during the Meiji era. However, while suppressed during this period, Japanese acupuncture would later undergo a revival and regain respect.

Revival and Modernization (1912-Present)

The Meiji period brought a decline in traditional Japanese acupuncture as Western medicine gained favor. However, in the 20th century Japanese acupuncture began to regain prominence and went through a period of revival and modernization.

In the early 1900s, acupuncturists started advocating for the validity of acupuncture and campaigned for its legal recognition. This helped bring acupuncture back into professional practice. New legislation was passed that allowed acupuncturists to legally treat patients again.

In the 1920s-1940s, many new acupuncture therapy techniques were developed by practitioners. For example, acupuncture pioneer Jun Ishikawa helped revive the old technique of gold needle therapy. Other therapists like Torataro Shidachi researched the effects of electricity applied to acupuncture points.

Key figures like Shiro Hashimoto and his son Ryokei Hashimoto also made great contributions during this time. They established new acupuncture schools and clinics where they researched and taught Japanese acupuncture to new generations. Their work was essential in regaining the prominence of Japanese acupuncture in the 20th century.

In the 1950s-60s, legislation continued to recognize acupuncture as an independent medical therapy. More research on acupuncture occurred and acupuncture education programs were standardized across Japan. All of these efforts allowed Japanese acupuncture to modernize and thrive once again.

The Gentle Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) Acupuncture

Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) acupuncture is a gentle, Japanese style of acupuncture based on the teachings and clinical experience of renowned acupuncturist Kiiko Matsumoto. It emphasizes developing a sensitive touch through extensive palpation and finding the root imbalance to treat the whole body holistically.

KMS acupuncture has several unique features that distinguish it from other acupuncture styles:

– Gentle needling technique using thinner needles inserted superficially
– In-depth palpatory diagnosis of imbalances in the abdomen and other areas
– Minimal and strategic needle use to prompt the body’s natural healing ability
– Holistic treatment of body, mind and spirit

Methodology and Holistic Approach

Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) acupuncture embraces a holistic treatment philosophy that integrates the mind, body, and spirit. The techniques focus on addressing the root cause of health conditions, not just symptomatic relief.

KMS utilizes gentle needling techniques, including superficial insertions along the extra-meridian pathways. By stimulating these gentler areas, the treatment aims to regulate and balance the flow of qi throughout the entire body. The goal is to support the self-healing capacity of the body rather than imposing intense stimulation.

Palpation serves as the primary diagnostic method in KMS acupuncture. The practitioner carefully palpates the abdomen, back, and other areas to detect imbalances. This allows for a customized treatment based on the individual’s needs. Areas that feel tight, swollen, or tender reveal dysfunction along a related meridian or organ system.

The treatment plan involves selecting specific acupuncture points based on the palpatory findings and traditional theories of Chinese medicine. However, the points are needled superficially and gently. The minimal and gentle approach sets KMS apart from other styles of acupuncture.

KMS incorporates a holistic lens to address the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of health. The treatment helps patients relax, release suppressed emotions, and gain greater mind-body awareness. This integrative approach is key for optimal wellbeing.

Treatment Benefits

One of the hallmarks of Kiiko Matsumoto style acupuncture is the wide range of benefits and relief it can provide patients. KMS acupuncture has proven particularly effective for treating pain, regulating digestion, balancing hormones, and supporting the immune system.

Pain Management

KMS acupuncture takes a holistic approach to treating pain, addressing both the physical and emotional components. By identifying trigger points and blockages through palpation, KMS practitioners can target problem areas for pain relief. Studies have shown acupuncture’s efficacy for various types of pain, including musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and chronic pain conditions.

Digestive Support

The KMS approach recognizes the interconnection between emotions, digestion, and overall health. Acupuncture points can regulate and restore harmony in the digestive system. KMS acupuncture has successfully treated conditions like IBS, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and indigestion by balancing energy and enhancing digestion.

Hormonal Balance

Gentle needling techniques rebalance hormones naturally. KMS acupuncture can alleviate symptoms related to hormonal imbalances like PMS, menopause, and fertility issues. It helps restore homeostasis and emotional equilibrium.

Immune System Support

KMS acupuncture strengthens the immune system, reduces inflammation, and promotes overall wellness. It activates the body’s healing abilities, making it more resilient against illness. For patients going through cancer treatment, KMS acupuncture can help manage side effects and improve quality of life.

Advanced Japanese Style of Acupuncture Benefits
Treatment Result is one of the hallmarks of Kiiko Matsumoto style acupuncture. The patient feels significantly better after each session. This form of acupuncture has been proven particularly effective for treating pain, postsurgical rehabilitation, post traumatic recovery, regulating nervous system, assisting digestion, balancing hormones, and supporting the immune system.
In pain management KMS acupuncture takes a holistic approach to treating pain, addressing both the physical and emotional components. By identifying trigger points and blockages through palpation, KMS practitioners can target problem areas for pain relief. Studies have shown efficacy of such acupuncture treatment for various types of pain, including musculoskeletal pain, headaches, joints and overall chronic pain conditions.
KMS acupuncture has successfully treated conditions like IBS and other autoimmune health problems. This powerful style of acupuncture can alleviate symptoms related to hormonal imbalances like PMS, menopause, and fertility issues. It helps restore homeostasis and emotional equilibrium; strengthens the immune system, eliminates inflammation, prevents health mishaps by building body resilience against illness.

Dr.Ac Yelena Grabko is providing KMS Acupuncture Style in Edmonton

Being a master of Kiiko Matsumoto’s style of acupuncture, she is representing the culmination of centuries of Japanese acupuncture wisdom and innovation while advancing its methodology for the modern era in her daily clinical practice. Through masterful palpation and sensitive needling, Yelena Grabko is able to pinpoint and resolve underlying issues with minimal intervention. She encourages Patients to explore this dynamic modality, either as a complement to Western medicine or as a holistic system for self-care. Founded by Yelena Grabko, Live by Design Health Centre is dedicated to patient-centered care and gentle healing of body and soul.

For more information visit us at
Acupuncture & Massage Therapy in Edmonton

To book your appointment contact us
Contact us | Live by Design Health Centre in Edmonton

Call Now Button