acupuncture model of the face with acupuncture points noted

Less is more…

That’s the way the Japanese traditions see acupuncture, moxibustion, and soft tissue work

It’s a beautiful, gentle family of traditions that uses more subtle stimuli for greater effect, creating a calming yet comprehensive experience for the patient.

Starting in the 1700’s, Japanese acupuncture was practiced primarily by blind practitioners. This accounts for the refined and gentle style of touch used during treatment. The gentleness makes it a better therapy for exhausted, highly stressed, sensitive individuals and children. However, it is equally robust in treating a wide array of conditions and body types.

The Japanese traditions of acupuncture uses smaller needles, shallower insertions and almost imperceptible manipulation to stimulate the acupuncture points. In some cases the needle is not even inserted but is held at a point or used in a stroking fashion.

The Japanese traditions rely on hara/abdominal palpation diagnosis along with pulse taking to determine patterns of disharmony. From there, the most beneficial techniques for the session will be chosen. This may include body acupuncture, ear acupuncture, moxibustion, guasha, cupping, body work or herbal medicine.

Deep, soothing heat in the body


Moxibustion is older than acupuncture and comes from Northern China and involves burning of dried artemesia vulgaris leaves of over areas of the body. While it is used to treat many recalcitrant conditions, it is also used to prevent illness in many East Asian countries. In a damp climate like Portland, moxibustion can be one of the most beneficial therapies available for pain and increasing vitality. The drying and warming nature of moxa effectively counteracts the influence of cold and damp in the body.

There are several forms of moxibustion: direct and indirect. Each application provides a unique method for promoting healing. Japanese moxa styles emphasis using tiny cones directly on the skin. Studies in Japan have demonstrated that this style can be used to increase white blood and red cell counts, thereby enhancing immunity and vitality. It’s also excellent as a home therapy, especially for the treatment of stubborn osteoarthritis pain, chronic fatigue, and immune enhancement.

moxabustion cones and acupuncture needles