Moxa tube on a Large Intestine pointAbout Zen Hands


Questions and Answers

Japanese Needle Therapies is a beautiful system of restoring health and vitality. This page is about questions I have encountered and my responses to them.


With respect to Moxa and it's uses:

  • How big is the moxa on the skin? It depends, the Threadmoxa1Japanese "Rice Grain" or "String Moxa" is typically about 2mm in thickness and 3-4 in length. it is much like a rice grain on your plate but in this case it is standing on its end on your skin. Cone moxa is a larger cone about 10mm in width at the base and 20mm in hight. "Warm needle" is a ball of mugwort on the end of a needle.
  • Does it hurt? Typically no, not at all. You will have a sense of warmth but many people do not even sense that. The cones are more likely to give you a warmth sensation as do the warm needles.You may, additionally, sense the shifting and lessening of pain.

With respect to Needling:

  • Moxa Cones and water bowlHow is it different to Chinese Medicine? Japanese Needling aka Dr Manaka Protocols differs in so many subtle but very important ways to what has become the westernised Chinese Medicine we commonly experience.
    • The needles used are far finer and not inserted deeply. In Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is common to insert the needles to obtain "daqi" which is an order of magnitude deeper and frequently painful.
    • We do not use herbs.
    • Dr Manaka studied the effects of cycles and rhythms on the body extensively which is taught in TCM studies but beyond that is rarely applied. In Japanese Needling this knowledge is deeply embedded. You can think of it as being aware of what is at its peak at any point in time and making use of that information. A simplistic example would be thinking it is night so I wont call my friend to discuss xyz, day time is far better. Going further with that example, you might also consider that if it is a good night story and thus evening is far more appropriate that morning and if it is the accounts then maybe 11am is far better than 2pm but even that is better than 1am and so on. It's simplistic I know but still relevant in that our attention peaks at certain time and so does our need for rest, food etc. People who go counter to these biorhythms experience a lot of problems. Can you think of someone who regularly eats late dinner? Or skips breakfast?
    • Other differences in the use of ion pumping cords which are unique to this body of work. Dr Manaka also makes use of corrective exercises (Sotai) which have a lot in common with Sotai used in Shiatsu. He also uses cords to facilitate balancing the body's tiny electric currents (micro-currents) which is unique to Japanese Needling.
  • Why is it called Japanese Needling and not Acupuncture? Japanese Needling is a term invented for Australia. The body of work is called Dr Manaka Acupuncture Protocols. It is also referred to East Asian Medicine to reflect the fact that Dr Manaka collaborated on this work all over Asia. It isn't called Acupuncture because in Australia that term is licensed to practitioners of Chinese medicine (TCM) only. Acupuncture also refers to Chinese Medicine with herbs to most people and this is quite different so as a point of differentiation these names came about.
  • Do the needles hurt? Typical, no. In fact, often you will not even feel them but, I can't say that for all the cases. If there is stagnation also known as tightness, tension, stiffness and generally blocked part of the body, then yes they can hurt to a degree. It is typically far less by the virtue of the very fine needles used. All this talk about needles brings me to the topic of SSPs. These are small silver discs that are non-insertive. They sit on the skin surface and make contact with the acupoint. They are used when needle sensitivity is an issue such as on infants and children.
  • How long do the needles stay inserted? Typically, a needle would stay in for 10-20 minutes.

More questions? Just give me a call and we can discuss your needs.



Updated 14/6/18

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