In Japanese culture there’s a huge emphasis
on mastery You see it in the way people prepare food
You see it in the way people do martial arts And you see it in the world of acupuncture Well, I’m back in Japan
And I’m back in Asakusa, the temple It’s a bit smoky here because people Seem to be doing blessings at the moment
It seems to be a national holiday We’re going to see a Dragon Dance later
Anyway, I’m going to buy some incense and do a prayer for the course I’m just going to make a wish now and try and bless the course
Are there any bits of your body that need healing? Yes! You’re supposed to heal the bits of your
body… Oran must be trying to grow some more hair! Mastery is all about detail and repetition
And in the Toyohari Summer Schools we focus on just those things
Repeating the basic techniques again and again and again
And breaking them down into small steps And getting feedback from the more advanced
practitioners There are many styles of acupuncture in Japan
One of the most famous of these is called Keiraku Chiryo, Meridian Therapy
This was a movement that started in the early twentieth century
And has ever since, grown and grown In 1959 five practitioners came together to
set up the Toyohari Association An association for blind practitioners of
Meridian Therapy These five practitioners we can call The Five
Elements Fortunately for me, they haven’t limited
study just to people who are blind And they’ve also opened up the association
to foreigners to come and study
So that’s why I went to Japan Well, now we are going to begin the seminar this year
Traditionally, blind people engaged in the work of acupuncture Hip Hip…Hurray! In the association there’s an overwhelming
emphasis on practice Everybody has to do it
Junior practitioners, mid-level practitioners Even at the highest levels of the association,
the President, the Vice President and the Academic Dean
They have to practise the most basic techniques, Time and time again This film is a record of some of my trips to Japan
practising with the senior practitioners The Association has a unique study method
It’s named after Mr. Kozato, One of the five founders of the Association
Kozato Method is a group consensus study method Where a group of people work together
And analyse each step of the diagnostic and treatment procedure
And hold it up for criticism Another interesting aspect of Kozato method
is the role of the pulse In a typical Kozato situation you’ll have
one person lying down Playing the role of patient
Another person taking the ”patient’s” pulse And someone needling It’s during this needling process that the
pulse taking comes into its own Because very subtle changes in the posture
of the person needling Will cause changes in the pulse
And the blind practitioners are able to give very specific feedback
As the process continues For my part, I’ve been told to drop my elbow
I’ve been told to release my shoulders I’ve been told that I’m needling too fast
Or that I’m holding the needle too tightly with my fingers And all of this from a blind person who can’t actually see what I’m doing They’ve even developed something called Chain Pulse Method Where you ”chain” a number’ of people ,
each taking each other’s pulse And you’ll see that changes in the first person’s pulse Will reflect down the line of the chain One more amazing thing about the Association is its style of needling This is called Touch Needling or Contact Needling Instead of putting the needle in, the needle
is merely touched to the skin In some cases it’s held above the skin So, instead of the emphasis being all on the needle The emphasis is all on the Qi (energy) This takes a lot of time and a lot of practice
to master One of the strong things about Toyohari
Things and facts are repeated every time, From every side, from the left side, from the right side, from up, from down And every time, you hear something different and you hear something new And you think ”Oh yeah, that’s true!” And that’s why you get better and better
and better That’s one of the strong things about Toyohari, I think [This is the large intestine meridian
This is the lung meridian] No, no, no…relax Straight, straight!
Straight like that? Relax, relax!
(Laughter) Straight!
Straight! We focus on many techniques during the Summer School Touch Needling Sanshin, which is a very rapid surface needling
technique over a broad area Moxibustion — burning a herb to warm up
the points And even, for chronic conditions…
Bloodletting Pricking a point and squeezing a few drops
of blood out This is very hard
So if you can release this tension She can start sleeping better
”Onegaishimasu” (Yes please!) The tip of the teishin doesn’t extend out
from between the fingers I’m going to do ”sha” (draining
technique) here Wow!
Like this… Tonification style, I’m going to go like this Quick…slow…slow…quick Today I’m training with Mr Nakamura
Again, we’re practising basic needling Just now he showed me something very interesting
We do a needle technique where the needle has to move forward and back
And forward and back And basically he was saying I was moving the
needle Too far forward and back
And I had to make the needle amplitude much less In order to be more effective When she was stroking the meridian
She was doing like that She was using only index finger
If you do that Even if you are stroking the meridian very
lightly As a result, because you are not using the
other fingers It become heavy
So when you are stroking meridian These three fingers are very important to
be used Then naturally, index finger becomes lighter So what just happened? What was your feedback? The needling feedback from Shinoda Sensei
was extraordinary, really As you said, the master class
The subtlety and the detail is amazing Each person he finds something new to say
But there’s obviously a common theme And one of his themes at the moment is
When locating the point it’s important to use all three fingers
And not just the one finger As that will adversely affect the pulse
And very important to keep relaxed at all times So you have to find this balance Between trying to the technique as well as
possible But being completely relaxed Well my feedback was more mixed He told me that I’d improved a lot
From a few years ago when he last saw me Which is amazing he could remember
And he said if I want to get to the next level I have to learn to relax more
Because if I’m tense I’m conveying tension to the patient
So he said first of all my stroking (to locate the acupuncture point)
Was too heavy, so I was stroking for the point too heavily
But apart from that he said he couldn’t put a finger
On what it was I was doing wrong So therefore I just had to learn to relax
more So that was basically the gist of his feedback
Just practice, practice, practice! When I talk to my patients, I tell them that
Blind practitioners have had a huge influence on acupuncture in Japan For a foreigner, this is the most important
learning experience I believe no foreigner can ever begin to grasp Toyohari Unless they come to a Summer School and study here with you I’d like to thank the teachers for taking the time Out of their busy schedule in clinic To come and train us in our skills of Toyohari Speaking for myself and probably for everyone I think we’re going to leave with many bits
of advice to work on And hopefully we’ll come back and improve So we’d like to thank first Nakada Sensei And we have a small token of appreciation Goodbyes are always hard Every time the course ends I feel a sense
of sadness At having to say goodbye to the teachers It’s really an honour to train with these people
They are twenty-first century masters And I feel like I’ve been training with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra of the acupuncture world They’re dedicated, they practise all the time but they’re not serious They’re very fun loving people And we can always laugh and have a joke and tease each other Even when we’re studying Well, it’s Saturday night It’s my final night in Tokyo I’ve had a wonderful stay
I’ve been to the Toyohari Workshop for five days I’ve done some study, seen some old friends I’ve visited some sites Tonight I’m by the river because it’s
Summer Fireworks Festival So we’re going to watch the fireworks
And tomorrow I teach Bamboo And then I go straight to airport afterwards
to fly home So it’s been a really wonderful trip

14 thoughts on “Toyohari in Japan – Training with the Blind Acupuncturists”

  1. I got major depression and insomnia, but was recovered by Toyohari acupuncture.
    The name of acupuncturist is Michio Murakami.
    Murakami Sensei helps me very well.

    On the other hands no drugs was effective for me, because almost drugs for depression made from  wrong theory.

    I want to inform people suffering from depression about Toyohari and danger of psychotropic drug.

    I made home page to notify them but it's difficult to get high rank on google search index.

    http://snailramp.net/depression/index_en.html

    As you know , by google guideline it's forbidden to write the link to one's homepage by hisself. If he breaks the rule, his site is deleted from search index of google.

    So I have few chance to inform my homepage.
    If you read my homepage and you feel good, please tell to your friends.

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