FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS TOYOHARI?
Toyohari, or East Asian Meridian Therapy, is a modern form of Japanese meridian therapy, based on classical Chinese Medicine. It is a very gentle, yet effective treatment that is suitable for a wide range of health conditions. Ongoing research by senior Toyohari practitioners ensures that our system of East Asian medicine addresses modern health issues and aims to continually improve treatment methods and outcomes.
Toyohari evolved from classical Chinese Medicine theory and practice. Its main characteristics include the application of the Five Element or Five Phase system in diagnosis and treatment, the needles and tools used, needling techniques, palpation or gentle touch, abdominal diagnosis and a unique treatment feedback system.
Evolving out of earlier developments in meridian therapy in the 1930's and 1940's, the Toyohari Association was founded by Kodo Fukushima in 1959. He and his colleagues decided that they needed to establish a seperate keiraku chiryo (meridian therapy) organisation to focus on helping other blind practitioners. Since that time the Toyohari Association has followed their own path, refining their palpatory diagnostic techniques, evolving unique treatment methods and establishing a highly structured educational process based around Kozato feedback practice. Kozato feedback techniques have encouraged a collaborative approach to acupoint finding and needle skills.
It is worth noting that blind acupuncturists go back to Sigiyama Waichi (1614-1649). He is acclaimed the Father of Japanese Acpuuncture and the inventor of the needle insertion tube (shinkan).
Toyohari was eventually opened up to sighted practitioners in Japan, which lead to its expansion into the West. Outside of Japan, Toyohari is studied and practiced across the world in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australasia.
THEORY AND PRACTICE
The Five Element or Five Phase system is the cornerstone of diagnosis and treatment in Toyohari. This system incorporates and connects various natural phenomena such as the elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood) and climate (summer, autumn, winter and spring) with our body, mind and emotions. The Five Element system enables practitioners to take a holistic view of the body-mind in relation to its environment and leads to the recognition of patterns of disharmony within the body-mind and appropriate treatment.
Toyohari treatment centres around the use of non-insertive needle techniques or the insertion of very fine needles.
Practitioners of Toyohari spend many years developing and refining their needling techniques and other skills including moxibustion, cupping and other non-insertive tools.
Palpation and gentle touch plays an important role in Toyohari diagnosis and treatment. This element was refined for blind practitioners in Japan and is nowadays used by both sighted and blind practitioners. Through palpation, Toyohari practitioners are able to assess the state of the meridians, which informs both diagnosis and treatment.
The pulse is uniquely used in Toyohari as a feedback system. Throughout a treatment, Toyohari practitioners will check the pulse again and again to ensure that your treatment is on course. Treatments are therefore highly individualised and dynamic.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The aim of a Toyohari treatment is to balance the qi and blood in the meridians, so that the entire body can be nourished and balanced. This supports the body’s self-healing abilities.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A TOYOHARI TREATMENT
Diagnosis includes asking questions about the presenting condition as well as health history, the palpation of the meridians and abdomen, and the taking of the wrist pulse. Once the practitioner has confirmed their diagnosis, gentle needling techniques will be applied. Other methods may also be applied, such as moxibustion, cupping and the use of non-insertive tools. You may feel a tingling sensation, feelings of warmth or movement throughout the body during a treatment. There are no heavy sensations felt by patients who receive other forms of needle therapy. It is therefore very comfortable, relaxing and pleasant.
WHO CAN BE TREATED WITH TOYOHARI?
Everyone can benefit from Toyohari treatment. Due to its gentle nature, it is especially suitable for the weak, the elderly, children and babies.
WHAT TYPE OF HEALTH CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED?
A wide variety of health conditions can be treated with Toyohari (the following list is by no means complete) including: anxiety and stress, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, dizziness, ear nose and throat problems, facial paralysis, fatigue and low energy, gynaecological problems, headaches, high blood pressure, immune related problems, infertility, irritable bowel, menstrual irregularities, migraines, musculo-skeletal problems, painful conditions, palpitations, pregnancy related conditions, respiratory problems, sciatica, sports injuries, urinary problems, and many more.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments required will depend on a variety of factors. Your practitioner will be able to give you an estimation of the number of treatments you may need at the conclusion of the first session.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO TOYOHARI PRACTITIONERS HOLD?
In Australia and New Zealand, many practitioners will hold an undergraduate qualification in acupuncture. Toyohari training is then undertaken at the post-graduate level. Once a practitioner has completed their training, and chooses to join and maintains their membership with the Australasian Branch of the Toyohari Association, they become a Registered Toyohari Practitioner (Japan). Practitioners of Toyohari undergo specialised training programs and have regular opportunities to further develop and refine their skills through conferences, seminars and local branch study and practice meetings.