AcuTherapy, LLC

7 Mystic Street, Suite 204

Arlington, MA  02474

(617) 694-9415

Clinic Hours

Monday to Friday

8:30am to 6:30pm


Occasional Weekends

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When one thinks of acupuncture, it’s natural to think Chinese in the same breath.

Not many people are familiar with the Japanese version of this therapeutic form of

treatment. Both forms have their roots in the Orient, but the major similarity is

found only in the name.


Japanese acupuncture is one of a few major styles of acupuncture. Since the

Japanese were introduced to Chinese Medicine and the integrated theories

of acupuncture, bodywork, and herbal medicine in the 6th century, practitioners

have developed many unique theories and techniques.


In general terms Japanese acupuncture is unique in its efficiency and precision. Techniques often are directed at using the minimal amount of stimulation to attain the greatest results. Much of the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is still used and the majority of the acupuncture points are used with only a few modifications.


Japanese acupuncture draws on a huge range of therapeutic methods other than needling. These techniques tend to be very delicate and minimal. And they don’t hurt!  Japanese acupuncture is beneficial for all types of patients including children.


Five-Phase (or Five Element) treatments are a root (initial) treatment intending to treat the patient’s central imbalance – or the source of the problem. The diagnosis is made primarily from presenting signs by reading the patient’s pulse and abdomen as well as reactivity in secondary points.  It follows a Four-step protocol and adjunctive techniques may be used within these steps and/or afterwards to address the patient’s symptoms directly.


Treatment can also be done without the use of any insertive needles.  For example, Shakuju, a treatment strategy derived from the classic medical text,  Nan Jing and based on the work of Shoji Kobayashi, is also employed.  This is great for the needle-sensitive and great for children as no needles are inserted into the body.  A Shakuju treatment generally takes 30 minutes from beginning to end.


The main differences between Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture methods:

  • The size of the needles: The Japanese tend to use smaller and finer needles than the Chinese.  Most people feel nothing at all…

  • The method of insertion: The Japanese use metal or plastic tubes to guide the needles into your skin, a technique that is designed to enhance accuracy and reduce any discomfort.

  • The depth of needle insertion: Needles in Japanese acupuncture are inserted more gently and superficially than the Chinese method.

  • Less “De Qi” sensation: The tingling sensation you feel when the needles are inserted and adjusted into position or the “De Qi sensation” is not as strong with Japanese acupuncture as it is with the Chinese version.

  • The reliance on touch: Japanese acupuncture practitioners rely on touch, or palpation rather than on sight to decide on the entry points for the needles. Every acupuncture point is palpated before the needle is inserted.

  • The use of moxa: Most Japanese acupuncturists use moxibustion as part of their acupuncture routine. This technique involves warming the acupuncture points by burning moxa, derived from the mugwort plant, above the skin before the needles are inserted.  Do not be alarmed!  It feels great!

  • Manaka Ion Pumping Cords are commonly used in Japanese-style acupuncture practices. 


Manaka ion pumping cords are a simple setup of a copper wire with a black clip on one side, a red on the other, and a diode in the middle. Although they are called ion pumping cords, the physical properties of a wire do not allow atoms or molecules to move along them. However, electrons can flow along the wire, effectively lowering the number of ions in one area and raising them in another.  Although the cords move electrons, the total number electrons moving is so low that it would be practically impossible to measure. This makes using the cords completely safe. 


Dr. Yoshio Manaka, a renowned Japanese acupuncturist, initially developed the ion pumping cords for treating burns. He theorized that excess ions prevent the skin from healing. Typically cell membranes keep some charged atoms in the cell and others out. A burn destroys these boundaries, leaving all types of ions everywhere.


Manaka thought removing some of these ions would allow the cells to heal more quickly.   Seeing the significant results on burns, Manaka experimented with the cords, creating numerous treatment protocols including ones for tinnitus, rhinitis, muscles spasms, asthma, and headaches and whiplash.

Chinese & Japanese Acupuncture...

What's the Difference?

"Be sympathetic to patients and serve them wholeheartedly. Serve all patients equally, regardless of their age, sex, wealth, rank, nationality and intelligence. Treat all patients as if they were your own relatives and their illness as if it were your own suffering. Meet the patient at any time or any place when a doctor's help is needed, notwithstanding any danger."

Sun Si Miao, 581-682