Acupuncture Inspiration

G’Day from Downunda,

I have been mentoring acupuncture students in my clinic for almost 15 years and consider achieving positive clinical outcomes for my patients in conjunction with the responsibility of explaining treatments rationally to keen and curious students to be fundamental to my growth as a practitioner of traditional acupuncture.

Acupuncture Students n Teachers gone fishing, Gold Coast,Australia, Spring Break1994

I have been privileged to meet some extraordinarily committed, gifted and talented individuals through this intensely challenging yet rewarding process.

It is satisfying to have played a role, however small, in helping them to establish prosperous, enjoyable careers and in turn helping many people to achieve improved health.

Japanese master acupuncture practitioner Masakazu Ikeda sensei, whose skill, commitment, lucid instruction and explanation over a series of workshops between 1996 – 2006, changed the face of Western acupuncture for ever.

Masakazu Ikeda, enjoying some rare time off, Imabari, Shikoku, Japan late in the 20th century

Slowly but surely, the possibilities of traditional Japanese acupuncture take root at the most essential level of our profession, in clinic and the consumer is becoming increasingly aware of the distinction between traditional Japanese acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture, not to mention those allied health professionals who have jumped on the bandwagon having completed ‘quickie’ courses ranging from 47 hours to a couple of weekends.

Genuine Acupuncture students study for 1000,s of hours prior to graduation!!!

The study and practice of traditional Japanese acupuncture requires enormous commitment on behalf of the student.

To learn, then refine the skill-based needling and moxibustion techniques commonly used in traditional Japanese acupuncture is challenging.

To do so whilst studying TCM is seriously challenging!

In my experience that extra effort is definitely rewarded through accelerated clinical outcomes and an increased patient base as a result of the refined/gentle clinical skills and the aforementioned accelerated clinical outcomes, especially relevant in the case of infants, children and needle phobic individuals.

It is a natural consequence of practicing traditional Japanese acupuncture, that as practitioners, the busier we are in clinic the more practice we get.

As a student the commitment and motivation to spend at least an hour per day developing and refining your clinical skills in the absence of patients is a necessary prerequisite to becoming simultaneously competent and confident in the practice of traditional acupuncture.

Meeting Ikeda sensei was definitely a two edged sword, on the one hand demonstrating the incredible subtlety, power and flexibility of traditional Japanese acupuncture in the hands of a master practitioner, on the other hand setting the clinical bar, way high!

My clinical high jump became a pole vault and I continue to refine my run up let alone jump to the rarefied heights of understanding and clinical accomplishment achieved by master practitioners such as Ikeda sensei.

It is with this understanding that I continue to teach and encourage interested students and practitioners to develop their skills and clinical acumen in this incredibly effective and consumer friendly modality.

world, is all about the learning, growth and integration of skill-based, clinically relevant traditional acupuncture on a global basis.

Adam and those like him through their willingness to practice and develop their clinical skills provide me with essential inspiration to continue on this ever challenging and sometimes virtually vacuous journey.

Students practicing one handed needle loading Brisbane, Australia, Winter 2008

A journey that started almost 15 years ago when some few months after commencing teaching undergraduate students, I met Edward Obaidey, practitioner, teacher, mentor, acupuncture bruvva and alien from Sangenjaya, Tokyo.

Edward Obaidey, Traditional Acupuncture Mentor Extraordinaire,

Sangenjaya,Tokyo, late 20th Century

I will save that story for another day,

Have a good one,


Here is some very encouraging feedback from undergraduate student and participant in the worldacupuncture mentoring program Adam McIntosh, ‘a bushie in da big smoke’, in his words……

In short, they’ve been absolutely massive for me.

Learning tonetskyu at the first workshop was great.

I had been wanting to learn that skill for ages.

I do tonetskyu almost every day on myself or my partner, my mother etc. God knows when I will become competent at it but I really enjoy doing it.

Second workshop on Ikeda Sensei’s point selection protocol was a revelation.

It really showcased for me what an elegant, logical theory base is at the core of Sensei’s approach to treatment.

It gave me something I could pick up and use straight away, while hinting at the massive depth I could look forward to exploring in the art.

I have certainly had great success using root treatments.

I have already got my mother away from a decade-long dependence on expensive anti-migraine drugs using Liver Root treatments, tonetskyu on KI-1 and back-shu needling.

Third workshop at the GC was an excellent chance to observe your work more internally.

I was not in good shape at the time.

It was quite instructive to feel my body change and begin to heal within seconds of the root tx.

Your treatment of myself and others allowed me to learn more about the way people move in and out of their constitutions, among other things.

Fourth workshop was also huge.

I’ve been chomping at the bit to find an entryway into pulse and abdomen diagnosis.

Now I have a bit of direction in that regard which is very important to me.

The theory portion on lung deficiency/kidney deficiency/liver excess was also very exciting.

Basically I want to tell you that I am enormously grateful for the training you are providing.

You are providing all of your students with a doorway into great depth of understanding and skill.

I had always suspected that such depth existed within the art, but how can it be accessed from a book or a place like ACNM?

It’s very valuable to have time where your attention is focused directly on instructing/correcting technique/explaining theory etc.

For me, it is an important synergist with the clinical observation time, allowing more of it to make sense.

I have a bunch of other questions and ideas I’ll bounce off you later.

Adam McIntosh

About Alan

Alan Jansson is an internationally recognized teacher and practitioner of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. As a staunch advocate of practically based workshops, Alan draws upon his 35 years clinical experience and 23 years post and undergraduate teaching. Alan has presented, convened and hosted more than 70 Traditional Japanese Acupuncture workshops in Australia, Europe, and USA.


  1. Dear Dr,Alan Janson,
    It is a previlage to get into your very valuable web site.I am new to Japanese acupuncture.But I have done Med.Acupuncture–8-years now,through Monash U.But I like to follow the traditional way.The only problem is I am not able to attend personal classes(seminars)outside Malaysia.Your site is realy an inspiration.
    I am looking forward to reciving the article”Seven Proven Strategies To Fast Track Your Success In Traditional Acupuncture”
    Please also let me know which is the comple & best book on Traditional Japanese Acupuncture.
    Thanking You,

  2. Great to know an inspired individual like yourself Alan, keep it comin.

    Re the last post Ikeda Sensei’s book Traditional Japanese Acupuncture & Moxibustion (i think that’s the title?) is a must at the beginning of the journey or anywhere along it, I still keep rereading sections and think did those words just magically appear on the page or did I just hear what the master is communicating a little more clearly!

    A little story – I had two days in Tokyo, one of which I took travelling south to Kamakura to stay with the family of an esteemed collegue of my father’s. The other was spent in Edward Obaidey’s clinic in Sangenaya, well half of it before I had to catch my bus back to Kyoto. I learn’t so much in that few hours re bedside manner, sensing energy and being present in my body than all the books & workshops that I had probably spent thousands on. But I’m not too sure about the impression I left as I slipped on my shoes & headed off into the human & mechanical chaos outside the clinic’s door. Edward had this curious look on his face as I said my hurried goodbye, as if to say “moving so quickly how do expect to know what is available now when you are already where you think you ought to be”.

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