THE SHINKYU

“Shinkyu” is the Japanese practice of acupuncture and moxibustion.

The world leader of this field, Takeshi Kitgawa analyzes about Japanese Shinkyu.


Presented by:
Holistic Health Beauty Shinkyu Association
Hamamatsu Medical-Care College

References such as

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Contents

  • Chapter 1, What is Shinkyu?
  • Chapter 2, Literation and meaning of Shinkyu
  • Chapter 3, The feature of Japanese Shinkyu
  • Chapter 2, Literation and meaning of Shinkyu

Takeshi Kitagawa’s profile

Japanese licensed Acupuncturist
General corporate Holistic Health Beauty Shinkyu Association Chairman
Hamamatsu Medical-Care College Vice Principal
Chiva-som International Health Resort (Thailand) Guest consultant
YOJO SPA owner

Kitagawa has Advocated Beauty Shinkyu in the fields of acupuncture both in Japan and abroad. He invented a new insertion technique of " 2 fingers insertion method “ (Nishi-Suishin Method) that overturns the common sense of previous methods of insertion, and for the facial approach, He had also named that " Yougan-Shinpo-method" to create a new method for Beauty Shinkyu. Kitagawa is the world leader who has mastered in Beauty Shinkyu. Moreover, he established the concept. He has raised about 600 professionals in Japan and overseas also has customers all over the world.

While engaging with the "Yojo Spa" with the clinical practice at Tokyo Minato-ku area, he regularly conducts Japanese Shinkyu treatment as a guest consultant at "Chva-Som International Health Resort" in Thailand to introduce Beauty Shinkyu.

Since 2014, Kitagawa has inaugurated vice principal at the Hamamatsu Medical-Care College which is an acupuncturist training facility. At the same time, "Holistic Health Beauty Shinkyu Course" is being offered at the same school.

As a pioneer, Kitagawa is active in a wide range of fields from oriental medicine, acupuncture, and moxibustion, beauty, spa education, writing, translation, and research.

Chapter 1, What is Shinkyu?

Shinkyu is the Japanese practice of acupuncture and moxibustion originally born in ancient China, brought into Japan and uniquely developed taking long time. During in the process of acupuncture and moxibustion which brought from China had been developed in Japan, many kinds of methods and tools were created including Japanese Shinkyu of which has a common part with Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion and with its own originality.

For example, normally we use a quite thin needle compared to the needles used in other countries because of the advanced Japanese manufacturing technology produced such a thin needle, and the needling technique with guide tube called “Kanshinho” is a popular method which is created in Japan. They are the distinctive feature of Japanese Shinkyu.

Stick on moxa” such as “Daizakyu” or “Entokyu” are also unique moxa produced in Japan. Nowadays, there are many Shinkyu styles exist in Japan but there is no such a Japanese Shinkyu style or method which can be called as a standard. Therefore, we can call any style of acupuncture and moxibustion of which was uniquely developed in Japan as a Japanese Shinkyu.

As a global, the Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion is the mainstream method in many clinical practices and just a few practitioners practice Japanese Shinkyu. Japanese Shinkyu has no superiority for its quantity. On the other hand, the Japanese Shinkyu is getting recognized for its superiority and as a reliable advanced acupuncture and moxibustion all around the world and in these days the Japanese Shinkyu is gathering many attentions among clients and practitioners all over the world.

Japanese needles
Guid tube needling method
Daizakyu and Entokyu
Daizakyu and Entokyu

Shinkyu is the Japanese combined name of “shin” and “kyu”. “Shin” is acupuncture and “kyu” is moxibustion”. These are different methods but it have been practiced as a single method by practitioners in Japan, China and Eastern Asian countries because each method has common part that both stimulates human body by using special treatment spot called acupoints on the skin surface and both have lots in common for history, theory and technique. On the other hand, the moxibustion or moxa is not popular as acupuncture in Europe and USA. This is because that moxa is least recognized and only acupuncture had been spread in such countries.

Each of acupuncture and moxibustion has different effect and benefit. We use either or both acupuncture and moxibustion depend on the client’s demand and sometimes it makes a synergy effect by using both at the same time. Therefore, as a Japanese practitioner, we feel very strange about the current situation in Europe or USA that the acupuncture gets popular alone and no such an attention is given for moxibustion. We truly believe that each acupuncture and moxibustion have to be recognized as a single treatment even in the outside of eastern Asian countries. This web site has been created for everyone to understand its uniqueness and superiority of Japanese Shinkyu. In this web site, the notation of Japanese acupuncture & moxibustion is written in “Shinkyu” to solve such a notation problem.

Chapter 2, Literation and meaning of Shinkyu

Shinkyu is written in “鍼灸” with 2 Japanese characters and “鍼” means acupuncture and “灸” means moxibustion. We have two ways of pronunciation for “鍼” as “shin” and “hari” which means acupuncture. We sometimes use 2 different notation of “Shinkyu” or “Harikyu” for “鍼灸” but there is no difference in the meaning and we use the word “Shinkyu” to standardize the notation in this web site. In case of using the word “鍼” as individual, we usually pronounce it “Hari” and never pronounce it “Shin” or never written in alphabet. On the other hand, we pronounce moxibustion as “Kyu” or “Okyu. We use the word “O” as a prefix of kyu to make it sounds more polite but never use the same prefix for “Hari”.

Shinkyu as Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion is unique and different treatment from acupuncture which have been practiced as single treatment in Europe and USA. Therefore, it will be our great pleasure of having practitioners all around the world to remember both “Shinkyu” and the Japanese characters, “鍼灸”, and recognize acupuncture and moxibustion as a single treatment. We also wish everyone in the world to know words, “Harikyu”, “Hari”, “Kyu”, “Okyu” as well.


Shinkyu : acupuncture & moxibustion
Harikyu : acupuncture & moxibustion
Hari      : acupuncture
Kyu       : moxibustion
Okyu       : moxibustion(polite expression)

Chapter 3, The feature and uniqueness of Shinkyu

“What is the difference between Chinese acupuncture ans moxibustion and Japanese Shinkyu?” This is the question that I am often asked in many foreign countries. Actually, Shinkyu is now getting popular in these days and I believe that there are many practitioners concerning such a question. Both Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion and Shinkyu have same essence of using needle and moxa for treatment. Those methods have no fundamental difference but we see some difference in their detailed exposition, technique and tools they use.

During the process of developing Shinkyu, so many unique methods, tools, and Japanese specialists improved its sophistication of acupuncture and moxibustion in long time period. Those uniqueness and sophistication are the features of “Japanese Shinkyu” regardless of the style. Those are the reasons why we advocate Japanese Shinkyu to the world. And now, I would like to summarize to deepen your recognition and understanding about the uniqueness and sophistication of Japanese Shinkyu.

The uniqueness of Japanese Shinkyu

As mentioned before, Kanshin method is the unique needling technique of Japanese Shinkyu and the following items and techniques were also invented in Japan. We can recognize it as the feature of Japanese Shinkyu because each of them is the Japanese original. Therefore, I would like to introduce those items and techniques as a uniqueness of Japanese Shinkyu. The contents are my own opinion based on my knowledge and experience.

The uniqueness of Japanese Shinkyu

  • 1, Thin needle and the guid tube needling technique

  • 2, High quality of disposable needle

  • 3, Indwlling needle

  • 4, Stick on moxa and charcoal moxa

  • 5, Japanese Beauty Shinkyu

  • 2, High quality of disposable needle

1, Thin needle and the guid tube needling technique

The one of the differences of Japanese Shinkyu and Chinese Shinkyu is the thickness of needle they use. In Japan, we often use needle of 0.12mm〜0.26 diameter but in China they rarely use needle of less than 0.30 diameter. Therefore, many practitioners and clients recognize it as one of the features that Japanese style use thin needle. One of the reasons that the Japanese Shinkyu use thin needle is that Japanese needle manufacturing technology has been allowing to make thin needle from early age and one other reason is that the Japanese needling method called “Kanshinho” allowed us to use thin needle.

In Japan, each needle has a designated type of size depend on its diameter, and thickness of the needle is specified by its diameter and type of size, and we have to know that designated type of each Japanese and Chinese needle is different. In Japan, the needle number is getting higher with an increase of 0.20 diameter and 21 kind of standarized needles are available. In Japan, beside the type of needle, there is also a designated number for each needle and the number is more popular rather than type of needle in Japanese practice and also in school. The number of needle is getting higher with an increase of 0.20 diameter, and the needles from No.02 (0.12 diameter) to No.08 (0.30 diameter) are often used in Japan. Some of the disposable needles have different color of needle handle to classifiy them in different size in a clinical field.

In most of the countries include China, they hold needle handle to conduct direct insertion. However, this technique is difficult and it is easy to cause pain if poor skill practitioner uses such a technique. The needle is easily gets bend if the needle becomes longer and thinner. Therefore, we have to use certain size of needle to practice such a needling technique.

On the other hand, we have the unique needling method called “Kanshinho” which was invented in Japan. Kanshinho is the needling technique using a guide tube which is a little bit shorter than a needle. We put a needle which inserted in the guide tube on the skin and hit the needle head to penetrate the skin. It made us to perform needling faster and inserting on the right spot. Kanshinho was widely spread in Japan by the achievement of Master Waichi Sugiyama and now many training schools for Shinkyu practitioner is adapting the needing technique as a Japanese standard needling technique.

Kanshinho uses guide tube for preventing needle from bending inside the guide tube more than inside diameter. Therefore, it is possible to insert a thin needle smoothly without bending it. I believe that not only the advanced Japanese manufacturing technology made practitioners to use a thin needle but also the Kanshinho helped to spread it in Japan. Therefore, a thin needle and Kanshinho are distinctive features and advantages of Japanese Shinkyu.

2, High quality of disposable needle

Since we put a needle inside the body for the acupuncture treatment, disease prevention such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C will be important subject, and needling has a possibility of causing pain or bleed under the skin and sometimes the bleed under the skin become bruise. Therefore, it is always considered as an important subject to make less pain and bleed under the skin in acupuncture treatment. There are two rules to achieve smooth and safe needling without causing such problems. First is our skill as a practitioner and second is a quality and performance of the needle we use and it is another feature of Japanese Shinkyu that we have been working to improve not only our skill but also to improve quality and performance of needle to achieve those subjects.

Due to the improvement of manufacturing technology, the acupuncture needle used for practice has been changed with the time of change. We were using same needles for many times by sterilize it with high-pressure sterilizer. However, some clients feel unsafe and unacceptable for using same needle because there is a low possibility of getting infection even after a perfect sterilization. Because of such a circumstance, Japanese single use disposable acupuncture needle was invented for the first time in the world. The disposable acupuncture needle was invented by Japanese Shinkyu needle manufacturing company called “SEIRIN” and started to sell it in 1978. SEIRIN told us that almost 80% of clinical fields are using stainless disposable acupuncture needle.

The single use disposable acupuncture needle is delivered in complete sterilization, and it changed the whole idea about an acupuncture needle and improved demand for acupuncture all over the world. In contrary to that, the acupuncture treatment might be declined if the disposable acupuncture needle was not existed. Therefore, the Japanese idea and the manufacturing technology of acupuncture needle have dramatically improved an anxiety and problem for sanitation in acupuncture practice and contributed significantly to improve demand and spread an acupuncture treatment. The disposable acupuncture needle has been widely spread in Japan and in all over the world and now it became a mainstream of acupuncture needle. The disposable acupuncture needle was invented by SEIRIN Company so that it can be called as a Japanese acupuncture needle in a way.

On the other hand, Japanese manufacturing technology make it possible to produce a very thin needle of which diameter 0.012mm and it has a quite high performance for cutting skin. “Pain” is subjective feeling and how they feel is different for each person but we have less pain and bleed under the skin with the higher quality and performance of needle and we can achieve smooth and safe Shinkyu practice with it.

3, Indwlling needle

Indwelling needle is the Japanese Shinkyu method uses 3 to 7mm of very tiny needle be inserted and remained under the skin with a constant stimulation. There are 2 types of needle which is indwelling needle and Press Tack needle and those are chosen by the angle and depth of needling. Indwelling needle has a needle head which prevents from being inserted too deep and failed to pull it out from skin. We use tweezers for needling indwelling needle into the skin horizontally and stabilize it with bandage mainly for the treatment of painful disease. On the other hand, Press Tack needle is inserted vertically into the skin and it is used for the treatment of muscle pain and muscle fatigue. Press Tack needle is shape like a thumbtack that allows it for deeper insertion more than indwelling needle.

Indwelling needle was invented by Master Kobei Akabane in Japan and the Press tack needle was invented based on the indwelling needle, and both are very popular in Japanese clinical practice. In these days, you can buy a Press tack needle which simply put on the skin like a bandage at drug stores in Japan. In 2004, SEIRIN Corporation started to produce large amount of Press tack needles that helped to spread those in Japan and in foreign countries. Press tack needle is safe and easy to use and it is not illegal if we use it as a self care, therefore Press tack needles are used to support our practice and used as a self care medication as well. This is another feature of Japanese Shinkyu that Indwelling needle and Press tack needle are used for both practice and self care medication.

# Indwelling needle and Press tack needle are not suitable for hair grown part of the body.

4, Stick on moxa and charcoal moxa
Moxibustion, same as acupuncture was born and brought from ancient China, and it was developed and became popular in Japan. There were many useful unique moxibustion and tools have been produced in the term of development of moxibustion in Japan. As mentioned before, both acupuncture and moxibustion treatments have many common parts in history, theory and technique that give some stimulation on the skin surface through the body. Therefore, qualified practitioners have been practiced acupuncture and moxibustion as a single treatment from long time ago in eastern Asia such as Japan, China and Korea. On the other hand, the word “acupuncture” is very popular in Europe and USA, but the “moxibustion” or “moxa” is not recognized as a familiar word in those countries. However, each acupuncture and moxibustion has different effect and benefit, and either one or both methods have to be flexibly used depend on the patient’s problem. Since we can expect a synergy effect by using both methods, we wish both to be recognized as a single treatment even in the foreign countries other than eastern Asia. Therefore, I would like to explain about the Japanese moxibustion in this section.
Moxibustion definition
Moxibustion is defining as below in "Acupuncture and Moxibustion Theory" by Japan College Association of Oriental Medicine which is used as a textbook at a college of the acupuncture and moxibustion in Japan.

Definition of moxibustion (Kyujutsu)
Japan College Association of Oriental Medicine

Moxibustion (Kyujutsu) is the one that burns moxa and stimulates the surface of the body by using alternative substances. Moxibustion stimulates certain parts and modifies the modulation of a daily function using active biological reactions caused by it. Moxibustion is the prevention of insurance and diseases, and the therapy widely applied to a body treatment.

As mentioned before, Moxibustion is the treatment that burn Moxa or some alternative items on the skin or nearby skin to use its thermal quality for preventing specific disease or symptom. Moxibustion was brought from China and it became very popular not only in the Japanese clinical site but also among common people as a family nourishing method for women. This is because that mugwort is the material of moxa which grows naturally around in Japan and economical to use it for a self care medication.

The “Fukayakyu method” of which was invented by Izaburo Fukaya who had succeeded after the war can be called as a Japanese original moxibustion method. Classic style of moxibustion had been practiced very simple with a twisted mugwort made by hand and burn it on the skin. Acupuncture needs certain time for training, but moxibusiton can be practiced very easily and it might be one of the reason that moxibustion became more popular in Japan now.  

Stick on moxa

In modern society, relatively brand new type of moxibustion called “Onkyu” is getting popular among females as a family nourishing method. Onkyu is the moxibusiton method which is not directly burn mugwart on the skin but to make a space between moxa and skin and use its heat to give thermal stimulation. Especially young females are tends to hesitate of having the classic style moxibustion because the method has a possibility of making burn on the skin. On the other hand, we don’t put mugwort directly on the skin when we use Onkyu so that it is safe and reliable. Stick type of moxa is popular in China but the tube type moxa was originally invented and became popular in Japan, and this is a feature of Japanese moxibustion to use “tube moxa”. The tube moxa gives a thermal stimulation with its heat by burning tube moxa indirectly on the skin and there are 2 different kinds of indirect moxa called “Indirect stick-on moxa” and “Indirect moxa stick”. Indirect stick- on moxa has a paper rolled mugwort sitting on a few millimeters of thick paper, and indirect moxa stick has a stuffed mugwort inside the thick paper roll.

In Japan, relatively brand new type of moxibustion called “stick moxa” is getting popular among females as a family nourishing method. Stick moxa is the moxibusiton method which is not directly burn mugwart on the skin but to make a space between moxa and skin and use its heat to give thermal stimulation. Especially young females are tends to hesitate of having the classic style moxibustion because the method has a possibility of making burn on the skin. On the other hand, we don’t put mugwort directly on the skin when we use stick moxa so that it is safe and reliable. Stick moxa is now getting popular also in China but actually it was originally invented and became popular in Japan, and this is a feature of Japanese moxibustion to use “stick moxa”. The tube moxa gives a thermal stimulation with its heat by burning tube moxa indirectly on the skin and there are 2 different kinds of indirect moxa called “daizakyu” (Indirect stick-on moxa) and “entokyu”. (Indirect stick- on moxa) has a paper rolled mugwort sitting on a few millimeters of thick paper, and indirect moxa stick has a stuffed mugwort inside the thick paper roll

.In Japan, relatively brand new type of moxibustion called “stick on moxa” is getting popular among females as a family nourishing method. Stick on moxa is the moxibusiton method which is not directly burn mugwart on the skin but to make a space between moxa and skin and use its heat to give thermal stimulation. Especially young females are tends to hesitate of having the classic style moxibustion because the method has a possibility of making burn on the skin. On the other hand, we don’t put mugwort directly on the skin when we use stick on moxa so that it is safe and reliable. Stick on moxa is now getting popular also in China but actually it was originally invented and became popular in Japan, and this is a feature of Japanese moxibustion to use “stick on moxa”. It gives a thermal stimulation with its heat by burning tube moxa indirectly on the skin and there are 2 different kinds of indirect stick on moxa called “daizakyu” (stick paper moxa) and “entokyu” (tube moxa). has a paper rolled mugwort sitting on a few millimeters of thick paper, and indirect moxa stick has a stuffed mugwort inside the thick paper roll.

By using stick on moxa, we don’t have to twist mugwort for treatment and everyone can practice moxibustion, and moxa is getting popular once again among young women because indirect stick-on moxa has been invented. Recently, there are so many kinds of moxa which has a different burning temperature, burning duration and incent have been released by each manufacturing company and indirect moxa is becoming the main stream of moxa for household use because we can purchase them at any drug store and convenience store relatively at the low price.


Holistic Health Beauty Shinkyu Association

Bally Towers 301
3-8-10, Higashiazabu
Minato-ku, Tokyo
106-0044-JAPAN

kenbikai@nexsite.net