|English: Hua Shou. Expression of the fourteen meridians. (Tokyo, 1716). http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/historicalanatomies/Images/1200_pixels/hua_t08.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Most (close to 100%) of the people who contacted me in the past already hold some licence(s), whether those are related to acupuncture, herbal medicine or western medicine. Most also had already studied, at least to a certain degree, the kind of Chinese medicine often designated als "TCM" (Traditional Chinese Medicine). It is well known, however, that there is only a limited amount of "traditional medicine" in TCM, since it has been cooked up in the 1960s by Mao as a propaganda tool. So, the people who contacted me, did so, because they were dissatisfied and wanted to learn "something else". This latter one is usually named "Japanese acupuncture".
However, there is a problem with "Japanese acupuncture".
In China EVERYTHING is controlled by the state and only state sanctioned things / concepts are permissible, so that people go there and "learn" (teaching TCM is a commercial product, marketed in a quite capitalistic manner) in a month or so. That's easy, because there is only one state sanctioned TCM, which is not to be questioned or doubted and presented in palatable form for "those foreigners".
Here in Japan things are different. Nobody in a position of power cares enough to even try to regulate oriental medicine. Since the introduction of Chinese medicine to Japan about 1,500 years ago, the Japanese have adapted it to their own particular needs and added quite a number of ingenious inventions (probably most well known: the use of needle tubes) of their own. Over this period of 1,500 years "Chinese medicine" evolved into "Japanese medicine". Anybody claiming that it must today be still the same it has been 1,500 years ago is a little out of touch with reality. The reality of evolution.
As opposed to China, there has been no "cultural revolution", permitting only one "true TCM" and eliminating everything that might pose a threat (?) to the welfare of the state, all the different schools and techniques that have developed in Japan are alive and well. Mildly exaggerated: there are probably as many styles out there as there are practitioners.
To the best of my knowledge, even in the face of all those rather unpleasant efforts at "standardization", there simply is no "THE Japanese acupuncture". No practitioner I know could give a definition of what Japanese acupuncture is.
But precisely THAT is, what makes is interesting: the wondrous variety, where nobody can claim to be right and tell others they are wrong.
With reference to the term "biodiversity", I would like to name this situation:
The other day, somebody from Germany contacted me, wishing to study "Japanese acpuncture". The person claimed to have already studied "TCM" (4 weeks) in China.
When I told that person, that in the absence of any organized (commercialized) courses in languages other than Japanese the only way getting a taste of Japanese acpuncture would be spending some time here and visit as many practitioners as possible, the person apparently got angry at me ("so there is no way of learning Japanese acpuncture?") and terminated the correspondence. That's fine by me.
However, I would like emphasize (again and again!): the variety of Japanese acupuncture styles is exactly what makes it so attractive.
Attractive in itself AND for the needs of the people of the world at large.
Personally I am convinced, that the "Japanese acupuncture" is much better suited for the world population than "Chinese acupuncture".
I would not volunteer to get a Chinese acupuncture treatment, BUT use moxibustion or acpuncture on myself before I consider anything else.
For people interested: I summarized some of these views in a little ebook: "Acupuncture .. the easy way - or the hard way".
It ***IS*** commercially available through Amazon and Smashwords.com, but since nobody has been buying it, I now offer it as free download from my website: