I am so excited to share my news with you!  Next month, in November, I will be heading out to Tokyo, Japan and Utazu, Japan (on the island of Shikoku) to further my skills and understanding of Asian medicine from a traditional Japanese Medicine perspective.  As many of you who are my patients know, I practice a combination of Chinese and Japanese medicine.  Japanese Medicine originally comes from China; however, like most everything else foreign, the Japanese took it and ran with it, making it their own distinct medical system.  

Traditional Japanese Medicine puts a great emphasis, among other things, on palpation: the art of touching the human body to elicit diagnostic clues and treat illness.  When combined with a medical theory that values the yin and yang of life–and that which you can observe, smell, hear, touch and see–the touch provides invaluable healing capacities far beyond what science and tests can prove.  The human touch can be superior to any medicine.  We all know how a hug or a mother’s touch on a boo-boo heals all wounds.  I was very much drawn to this art of palpating the human body and using my hands to treat my patients.  Shonishin, which I extensively use in my practice both with babies/children and needle phobic/needle sensitive adults, came from my love and understanding of this power of touch.  

I have therefore sought to study under the tutelage of several Japanese Medicine masters and teachers in both Japan and in the United States.  Luckily, last year, I learned about a fantastic opportunity to learn from several living masters through an intensive 7-day seminar.  Without hesitation, I signed up, and will soon be on my way!  

Allow me to geek myself out on Traditional Japanese Medicine:  I will be studying at Goto College of Medical Arts in Tokyo, one of the premiere acupuncture schools in Japan.  There they conduct fascinating research in acupuncture, moxibustion stimulation and technique assessment.  Three-and-a-half days will be spent in Tokyo studying from four different masters on moxibustion, palpation, non-needling techniques, and a unique approach that takes a different view from the dominant meridian therapy model (that’s English for assessing and treating the human body based on imbalances present in the 14 channel systems of the body).   

On the fourth day, after a morning lecture, we will all board a shinkansen (high-speed passenger train) and head to the island of Shikoku for 3 days.  There, we will sight-see for one day and then study for another 2 days at Shikoku Medical College.  One whole day is dedicated to beauty treatments and facial acupuncture (better than Botox!!) from the president of Shikoku Medical College.  On the last day of the 7-day seminar, we will be taught by the president of the Meridian Therapy Association.  In this last lecture, we will gain a deeper understanding of pulse diagnosis (that’s when I put my fingers on your two wrists, for you patients) and psychologically understanding patients better so that we can provide even better nurturing care. 

All this in 7 days!!  I am so so excited to learn new skills and advance other skills.  I’ve even asked the seminar organizers if they would be able to comment on pediatric care, so that I can take all they’re offering, plus my true love of pediatrics, to a whole new level. 

If I were a young buck, I would fly in right before and fly out right after the seminar to bring this ASAP to all of my lovely patients, but alas, I am not.  I am tacking on an extra couple days before the start of the seminar to help me acclimate to the new time zone and an extra few days in Shikoku and nearby to explore, as I have never been to this area of Japan and I hear its seafood is A.Ma.Zing and they have some beautiful old cities still intact from centuries ago but modernized for today’s living.   Rest assured, having been able to study, rest, and nourish my soul by exploring Shikoku, I will return having processed and integrated much of this new information free from the heavy demands of my busy clinic and motherhood life.

I can’t wait to come back to y’all and bring even more finesse, fine tuning and a deeper understanding of the Art of Asian Medicine to benefit my patients–big and small. 

As such, I will be out of the country from 11/4 until 11/17, and office hours will resume back to normal on Monday, 11/21.  Thank you so much for your patience, understanding, and support of my quest for continued knowledge.