Japanese Acupuncture London

Japanese acupuncture is used to assist in the treatment of the following ailments:

  • Neck, shoulder & back pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Stress related conditions
  • Fertility (male and female)
  • Gynecological Discorders
  • Depression / Anxiety
  • Sleeping problems
  • Tiredness

Key Features of Japanese Acupuncture

Strong emphasis on touch

An acupuncturist who practices Japanese acupuncture will probably be a lot more interested in palpating your abdomen than looking at your tongue.

Historically in Japan, largely due to Waichi Sugiyama’s influence, acupuncture was a profession for the blind. Even today, a significant percentage of acupuncturists in Japan are blind. While in China acupuncture is closely aligned with herbal medicine, acupuncture in Japan is thought of more in the realm of massage, both requiring a refined sense of touch.

In addition to using abdominal palpation as a key diagnostic tool, Japanese acupuncturists feel around a lot before needling acupuncture points. Some might even “test” certain points, holding a finger on an acupuncture point while simultaneously pressing another (usually painful) part of the body to see if it alleviates symptoms in that area.

A natural outcome of this approach is that there tends to be a lot of interaction between acupuncturist and patient. Feedback is critical to guiding the treatment.

Thinner needles

The attention to precise point location in Japanese acupuncture means that the needles don’t have to work as hard. As such, very thin needles are used and inserted very shallowly.

For example, in Toyohari acupuncture style, needles are not inserted at all but rather held over the surface of the skin. Here the importance is given to the thickness of the needle and the metal the needle is made of (silver, gold, platinum etc.).  Without needle insertion, patients can receive quite a powerful treatment.

Insertive or non-insertive method, it is not uncommon for a patient to feel no needle sensation whatsoever throughout an entire treatment. Some people favor the traditional Chinese approach—”I really feel it working“—but Japanese acupuncture treatments are equally powerful and generally preferable for those who are physically weak or needle sensitive.

Moxa is big

If your Japanese acupuncturist’s office smells a little different, it’s probably burning mugwort, also known as moxibustion. Moxa is to Japanese acupuncture what cupping is to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s most popular adjunct. Moxa can be used in various ways but the most common is direct application of small cones on the skin.

These cones are lit with an incense stick and left burning until the patient feels heat, usually after a few seconds. The warming sensation and smell—most describe it as pleasant—add to the overall relaxing experience of a Japanese acupuncture treatment.


60 min. treatment. £65