Emphasis in this style is very much on patient comfort, so thin needles are used with the normal gauge being Japanese no2 (0.18 mm, Chinese 38 gauge). Guide tubes are always used. Needling is not necessarily shallow like some Japanese styles, but needle manipulation is kept to a minimum, with attention placed on correct location, angle and depth, rather than obtaining a strong deqi sensation. This makes for a very patient friendly, yet effective, style of acupuncture, with patients often being pleasantly surprised how painless it is.
Sometimes also called direct or rice grain moxa, this technique is used frequently in this style to emphasise particular aspects of the treatment, or when cold or oedema are present. Research in Japan have shown it also boosts red blood cell production and immunity as well as strengthening the connective tissue such as ligaments. It is used either at the base of the needle or on it’s own. It involves lighting tiny ‘threads’ of super pure moxa placed on top of a thin layer of Shiunko cream (a protective anti-burn cream).
Needle moxa – familiar to most acupuncturists – is used to warm larger areas. Specialised needle moxa with longer threads is used, enabling the moxa to grip the handle of the needle better, to ensure no moxa drops off on to the patient.
Now well known, Kiiko pioneered the use of the Tiger Warmer outside Japan. This simple yet ingenious device, is essentially a heated incense ‘pen’ that allows variable heat and pressure to be applied directly to the body at precise points or larger areas. It is one of the easiest, safest and most patient friendly methods of applying heat and pressure to the body.
These are used during treatment and are particularly effective for healing scar tissue or for patients who are very sensitive to needles. They are frequently used to enhance and prolong the effects of the treatment by applying them at the end of the session as ‘homework’ for certain key points. They are both simple to apply and safe for patients.
Ion Pumping Equipment
Invented by Dr. Yoshio Manaka in the 1950’s, this method of treatment represents a modern understanding of the healing mechanism of Qi. Special cords ‘pump’ the ion flow of the body between connected needles rebalancing the body. Kiiko’s style incorporates both Dr. Manaka’s treatment protocols and those of Master Kawai, inventor of the diode ring.
Press tacks and intradermal needles and Dr. Manaka’s wooden hammer are also part of the rich and diverse treatment options available to the practitioner of this style.