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What’s the difference between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture?
Is one better than the other? Maybe you’ve never had acupuncture before and you’re not sure who to go to…
Both methods have unique qualities that distinguish these two acupuncture styles.
First off, let’s look briefly at the history of acupuncture. This healing method originated in ancient China and from there, expanded into Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Every culture since then has developed their own signature style of acupuncture, but the roots remain grounded in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
This means that Japanese acupuncturists are taught TCM to begin with and from there pursue a Japanese traditional, apprentice-style training to develop the Japanese style.
One of the most frequently asked questions by first time acupuncture patients is: which one hurts less?
First thing readers should know is: all acupuncturists use ultra fine needles, about 1/100th the width of a normal syringe needle.
Acupuncture needles are also not hollow and do not have a cutting edge; all of these traits combine to create a pain-free or close to it experience for the patient.
With that said, there are notable differences between Chinese and Japanese “needling” techniques.
– Japanese acupuncture tends to use finer needles than Chinese acupuncture and the needling is more surface-level and not as deep.
– Chinese needles tend to be slightly thicker, and the needling is deeper and stronger.
For a first-time acupuncture patient who is worried about needles, Japanese acupuncture might be the style to try first because it tends to be more comfortable for the patient.