As in all medical professionals, it is very important to understand the difference training makes. The training of an acupuncturist in Japan versus the training of one in the United States or other parts of the world varies drastically.
First, Japanese acupuncture schools value hands-on experience. Acupuncturists because acupuncture is considered to be a trade and not a theoretical discussion. For example, Toyo Shinkyu Acupuncture School (the school attended by Maya Suzuki, L.Ac.) teaches over 4000 hours of combined hands-on technique courses in Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion:
In comparison, schools in the U.S. offer mostly theoretical courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
While both are giving ample time to utilizing the medicine in practice Japan puts more emphasis on the correct, gentle technique and application. TCM tends to be more aggressive and slightly more painful. Japanese acupuncturists tend to be more focused on techniques and adaptation of the medicine to the patient. TCM bases treatment more on protocols, theory, and herbal formulas.
So while both kinds of acupuncture work very well there are stark differences between the two. The trend in the acupuncturist community is to deepen professional skills via Japanese acupuncture. That is why Maya Suzuki has dedicated half of her professional career to translation and coordination of international courses that enable acupuncturists from around the world to learn Japanese style acupuncture.
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