(TJM) Traditional Japanese Medicine Theory

Japanese Moxibustion Techniques - Kyutoshin "Needle Moxa" - TJM Theory

Kyutoshin or "Moxa on the Acupuncture Needle" is a moxibustion technique used in Japanese Acupuncture treatments. The information presented below discusses basic theory behind the technique, guidelines for applying the technique and examples of clinical use. Some of the techniques listed here require significant amounts of training to be performed correctly and should only be performed by practitioners who have been trained properly.

  • Clinical Usage:
  • Stiff joints a/or muscles
  • Contusion or whiplash injuries
  • Any cold signs within the patient - diarrhea, bloating, oedema, etc.
  • Numbness, tingling a/or paralysis anywhere in the body
  • Precautions and Contraindications:
  • Generally not on patients with strong heat signs - high fever, etc.
  • Not on or near inflammed a/or red areas of the body
  • In patients with diabetic neuropathy - or in any situation where the patient may not respond to the sensations of heat
  • Any point where moxibustion is contraindicated
  • Patient should be advised to not bathe or shower for up to 24 hours after a moxibustion treatment
  • Kyutoshin Techniques:
  • Use semi-pure moxa rolled into loose balls (tighter is warmer)
  • Consistient size and tightness is important to ensure uniform stimulation
  • Moxa balls should be roughly .7 inch in diameter (approx. thumb sized)
  • Distance between the skin and the moxa ball should be at least one inch or at least the size of the moxa ball
  • When inserting the head of the needle into the moxa ball you may prepare a hole with tweezers or the head of another needle to avoid pushing the needle further into the patient
  • Before lighting, tap on the skin to ensure stability of moxa ball
  • Specific Techniques:
  • Kobe Akabane Treatments:
  • Heavy Headedness - also works well for headache, vertigo, neck ROM issues related to flexion/extension a/or rotation
  • Needle UB 10 & GB 20 on the effected side
  • Apply 2-3 rounds of kyutoshin, repeat until patient notices improvement
  • 50 Year Shoulder - frozen shoulder, adhesive capsulitis
  • Check shoulder ROM with patient to locate more tender points
  • Needle the most sensitive points, usually one or more of LI 15, TH 14, or points between these two
  • Apply up to 3 rounds of kyutoshin, repeating ROM test after each round to judge effectiveness
  • Diarrhea Treatment
  • Palpate CV 10, CV 12, CV 14 area, ST 25, ST 26, ST 27 area, and CV 4, CV 6 area for the most tender points
  • Needle at least one point on each side of the umbilicus and apply 2-3 rounds of kyutoshin
  • Adding ST 36 to this treatment is also effective
  • Hypertension
  • Apply 2-3 rounds of kyutoshin on the following points, preferably at least 2 times/week - UB 10, GB 20, GB 21 and possibly ST 36
  • Ensure that the pulse does not become too fast, superficial or develop an increase in the difference between yin and yang
  • If the treatment is too strong, or just to ground the patient, you can generally apply 7x Okyu to ST 36
  • Treating Indurations with Kyutoshin:
  • Generally you can insert the needle on the soft sections of the induration
  • Insert until you feel something hard and then pull out just a little bit
  • Apply 2-3 rounds of kyutoshin and check for a softening of the induration

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were used within this section:

  • Iuliano, Diane: New England School of Acupuncture, Extraordinary Vessel Techniques Lecture Notes
  • Kuwahara, Koei: New England School of Acupuncture, Advanced Japanese Techniques Lecture Notes

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