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Learn More - opens in a new window or tab. Report item - opens in a new window or tab. Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Item specifics Condition: Brand New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab Read more about the condition. In describing Japanese acupuncture, philosophical concepts were included as a key category of investigation. Philosophical concepts have been identified as some of the most important aspects of acupuncture, and are inextricably linked with the study and practice of acupuncture in Traditional East Asian Medicine TEAM.

The aim of this research was to understand the philosophical concepts in Japanese acupuncture. Specifically, this study sought to identify procedural elements of Japanese acupuncture, describe these elements in detail, and investigate the current beliefs and attitudes of Japanese acupuncture practitioners in Japan toward their practice. This study aimed to describe and interpret the characteristics of Japanese acupuncture by investigating it in the diverse social and cultural constructs in which it is found. Therefore, ethnography was selected as the methodology to address the descriptive and explorative aims of this study.

Consequently, long-term ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in Japan. The research project was approved by the University of New England Research Ethics Committee approval number HE and was carried out in accordance with the ethical principles of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki for research involving humans. Participants were required to be experts in Japanese acupuncture and were eligible for recruitment if they held acupuncture qualifications obtained from a Japanese educational institution and were nationally registered practitioners.

Prior to recruitment and data collection, practitioners received information sheets and consent forms, which when signed and returned, indicated their informed consent to participate in the study. Practitioners were recruited through chain referral 25 , 26 and emergent sampling, 27 which is common in ethnographic research when targeting members of a specialized and difficult to reach population. Fieldwork began in August and concluded in December The positioning of the primary fieldworker in this study was one of an Australian trained practitioner of acupuncture with a cultural understanding of acupuncture in Japan and Australia, as well as clinical and educational experiences of acupuncture in Japan and Australia.

A single researcher conducted all data collection. This was accomplished according to the principles of ethnographic fieldwork 30 , 31 , 32 and involved participant observation, semistructured interviews, and analysis of documents. Participant observation involved shadowing practitioners, watching them, asking questions, and recording what was seen and heard. Recordings in participant observation were informed by observation guidelines developed for this study, which were revised iteratively. The guidelines included prompts for what should be observed in relation to the clinical environment, clinical procedures, patient—practitioner interaction, tools, and techniques.

Observation included taking photographs and audio recordings. Interviews were conducted according to the interview schedule that was revised iteratively and covered topics related to philosophical concepts, routine elements of the clinical encounter, and general practitioner experiences Table 1.

Interviews were recorded digitally and in notebooks. Additionally, relevant documents were acquired for analyses. As is common in ethnographic research, 33 , 34 , 35 thematic analysis was the key analytical method. Thematic analysis was conducted after every data collection opportunity and involved translation and transcription of data.

Data were analyzed using theoretic and inductive analysis. Data allocation and analysis were guided by, but not confined to, the coding template; additional themes were identified as they emerged through reappearing stories, phrases, ideas, actions, and objects, and when they represented some level of patterned response or meaning significant to the research aims through the entire data set.

The analysis involved recognizing how different data from multiple collection methods, data sources, and environments supported or opposed each other. As is common in ethnography, 29 , 37 , 38 triangulation was used as a method to compare, contrast, corroborate, or contradict this variety of data, and analytic bracketing 39 , 40 , 41 was used to address bias. All practitioners were given pseudonyms to maintain confidentiality and protect their identity.

Table 3 shows the demographic data about practitioners at the time of recruitment, including their pseudonym, sex, age, qualifications, and occupation. Where it was not possible to gain information about age owing to sociocultural reasons, age was established according to age groups; practitioners were described based on appearing either middle-aged or as a young adult. A total of 38 practitioners were recruited. Practitioners had a range of acupuncture-related occupations including clinician, teacher, and researcher.

Researchers were those conducting postgraduate research related to acupuncture. Practitioner contributions were individually negotiated at recruitment.

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In total, patients were observed during treatments over 4 and a half years of ethnographic fieldwork. Within philosophical concepts, two major subthemes were identified: knowledge and beliefs and values. Knowledge refers mainly to academic and clinical knowledge concerned with anatomy, physiology, aetiology, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, prognosis, and treatment. Beliefs and values reflect the socially and culturally constructed systems of traditions, attitudes, and behaviors related to health, illness, and healthcare in Japan.

The aim of this research is to report on the results related to beliefs and values in Japanese acupuncture. The rubric of themes analyzed in relation to philosophical concepts and beliefs and values are shown in Fig. Two major themes related to philosophical concepts were identified: beliefs and values, and knowledge.

The themes reported on in this article are discussed in the following subsections. Beliefs and values were reflected in procedural routines of clinical acupuncture practice, and demonstrated in practitioner attitudes related to Japanese acupuncture, health, illness, healthcare, and life in general. Quotes from practitioners that exemplify thematic categories are provided.

Practitioners are labeled with a pseudonym, and described as acupuncture and moxibustion, massage, judo therapy, or chiropractor practitioner, which indicates both their qualifications and profession. Additionally, some practitioners were senior lecturers at educational institutions; this is included in their label. Whereas other schools of Buddhism have mostly influenced the spiritual life of Japanese people, ideas from Zen Buddhism have been accepted into almost every facet of Japanese culture.

Although Zen Buddhism is a religion, Zen concepts are so embedded in nonreligious beliefs and behaviors including the practice of acupuncture that they no longer retain religious meaning in those contexts. Simplicity, minimum effort for maximum effect, and the respect for practicality above convention were some of the dominant values that informed Japanese acupuncture practice. The most important thing is whether the sickness changes or not. The important thing is whether the pain goes or not, whether they get better or not.

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Although each of the beliefs and values were distinctly identified themes in the data, many of them can be related to Zen Buddhism. The Zen maxims of practical experience and deliberate practice seem to have influenced many aspects of Japanese culture including Japanese acupuncture. But I think Japanese acupuncture means finding your own way, like Zen.

Like Buddhist philosophy…. Just practice and just study. Finally you will find your own way. This is the value of skills above knowledge. This value was represented by the importance of practitioner sensitivity and the significance given to the arrival of Ki Japanese language term for Qi , above the circulation of Ki.

This value was also connected to the practice of causing tangible treatment effects and detecting subtle changes in the patient condition. It is this value that demonstrated the de-emphasis of complex pattern differentiation and the emphasis of location and treatment of body tissue abnormalities. If you compare it to Chinese acupuncture, our acupuncture methods are gentle.

The best way to express Japanese acupuncture is sensitive…. Chinese acupuncture treats forcefully, but we treat with technique. This represents the belief that acupuncture and moxibustion can have instantly verifiable treatment effects. The process of trial and error throughout treatment and the constant confirmation of intervention effects typified this belief. This also connected to the concept of overtreatment and the ability to monitor and prevent over treating a patient. Some areas of the body were valued as more significant to health than others. One major area of significance was the abdomen.

The skin was also observed to be an important area of significance that was typified by skin palpation, shallow needling, and contact needling techniques. Areas such as the hands, feet, head, spine, and sacrum were also prioritized depending on the commitment to certain knowledge systems. I only ever use points here at the occiput. I usually use either one or two points depending on what reaction the patient has during the examination. Physical abnormalities or palpable disturbances of Ki, whether part of the main complaint or not, were considered sites of dysfunction that should be rectified.

The search for, and treatment of abnormalities, especially on significant anatomical areas, was an important theme. This resulted in the recognition of abnormalities in relation to a predicated natural order and remedying any disorder by the application of prescribed techniques. Where tissue feels like it is bunching up and your hand seems to stop there, then that is the place you need to treat. The belief that it was not necessary for needles to be inserted into the body to have a therapeutic effect, and that moxibustion stimulation need not be felt by the patient, represents the value of minimal stimulation.

This value is also evidenced by the large range of contact tools and minimally or noninserted needle techniques that were believed to have an effect on body tissues and Ki. I just touch the skin surface with them which is called contact needling. When I do tonification, I just touch the skin with the needle.

I also use teishin to stimulate the treatment site and release muscle tension. This value represents the belief that patients should be comfortable, and treatment need not cause inadvertent injury to patients. It was generally seen as unprofessional to cause discomfort to the patient with needles. This was somewhat demonstrated with the use of thin needles and guide tubes. Additionally, mild stimulation of treatment sites and the idea of not overtreating the patient are also practices that were connected to patient comfort.

I hope all practitioners can understand that. I want all practitioners to think about their patients all the time while they are giving treatments. Although understanding preferences or biases in knowledge is extremely important in understanding Japanese acupuncture, definitions of philosophical concepts and literary discussion describing acupuncture in Japan have generally ignored the sociocultural aspects of health, illness, and healthcare in favor of the description of knowledge and skills. Beliefs and values were found to be identifiable with Japanese nationality in general and somewhat bound to the environment and customs prevalent in Japanese society.

In the Japanese acupuncture setting, the beliefs and values reported by this study interact with opinions and behaviors concerned with health and illness, as well as the healthcare activities that are included in its practice. They are socially ingrained, have developed and been culturally legitimated over time, and influence expectations, clinical settings, clinical relationships, and the roles practitioners play in the professional medical arena with patients, and in society at large. These beliefs and values also assist in the development of strategies and evaluative standards that guide choices related to healthcare practices and assist in assessing the processes and outcomes of clinical interventions and care.

They guide the intellectual and interactive procedures for managing sickness, which involve disease labeling, differentiating, and offering meaningful explanations of health, illness, and the healthcare experience. In addition, the unique beliefs and values found in the Japanese clinical environment guide the provision of all types of therapeutic interventions and advice related to health enhancing, or illness prevention behaviors.

Finally, they direct the management of clinical outcomes including improvement of the health condition, cure, treatment failure, progression, and management of long-term illness, disability, and death. It is likely that education and licensing also play a role in developing the beliefs and values of Japanese acupuncture practitioners.

Japan has a national license examination for traditional medical modalities including acupuncture and moxibustion, and students must graduate from a recognized institution then pass the national license examination to become a nationally registered practitioner.

Japanese Acupuncture A Clinical Guide for Beginners by Carl Wagner. DOM.

This study recognizes that the beliefs and values of Japanese acupuncture are closely connected to and inform the application of skills and knowledge. This is similar to research in psychology and business 56 , 57 , 58 that views understanding values as an essential element of knowledge provision. In regard to the education and practice of acupuncture internationally, some authors have suggested that developing an appreciation of local beliefs and values across a range of cultural environments could assist in the adaptation of the education and practice of acupuncture in non-Chinese contexts.

Additionally, this study proposes that garnering an awareness of the beliefs and values of Japanese acupuncture will contribute to understanding acupuncture internationally and promote awareness about how beliefs and values manifest in clinical actions and inform clinical reasoning.

This study relied only on willing and available practitioners that could be recruited warrants limited generalization. Many factors influenced who was able to be recruited and how practitioners contributed.

Japanese Acupuncture

The consequence of Osaka as the primary research site, as well as the length of time spent in the field, resources available to perform fieldwork, who the patients were, and with what conditions they presented, are factors to consider when contextualizing this project in relation to Japanese acupuncture at large, and the future of research into Japanese acupuncture in Japan.

Beliefs and values are an underrepresented yet extremely important aspect of philosophical concepts influencing acupuncture practice in Japan. Among Japanese acupuncture practitioners, there seems to be homogeny in knowledge that is provided by the nationally standardized education system. There also seems to be homogeny in beliefs and values provided by the unique sociocultural setting.

Japanese acupuncture beliefs and values may be successfully integrated with acupuncture practice outside of Japan, especially: effect through technique, instant effects of treatment, minimal stimulation and resolution of abnormalities. These beliefs and values do not rely on a commitment to any spiritual or religious agenda, nor is there any need for commitment to proprietary knowledge of traditional or biomedicine. One of the outcomes of this study highlights the importance of future research focusing on how beliefs and values may affect clinical efficiency.

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