My second week at Kakikofu

Hello! It’s Misa again.
I would like to share some insights from my second week at Kakikofu.

Firstly, it became increasingly apparent how Kampo strongly links the outer world (nature and the environment) with the human body. When kindly explaining fundamental Kampo theory, Kaori Sensei told me, ‘we cannot ignore the environment’ and how what applies to nature also applies to the human body. Therefore, during the assessment of the client I listened to conversations about the recent changes in weather, air pressure, rain, humidity and heat and how this has affected people’s symptoms (eg: swelling, tiredness). Therefore, as an intervention Kaori Sensei would develop strategies with the client that took into consideration the impact of the season on the person’s symptoms (we are now in the Japanese rainy season). For example, both the Kampo medicine and dietary advice would be adapted to help with the symptoms that were exacerbated during this season.

I was fortunate to join Hiroshi Sensei while he was providing training to an Acupuncture student from Canada. Hiroshi Sensei began with an explanation of the history of Japanese Acupuncture and the development of key techniques.
This gave me a glimpse into how Traditional medicine rests on the penetrating insights people grasped from observing phenomena in nature. For example, I learnt about 雀啄術, the ‘Jyaku Taku’ technique of acupuncture. 雀 means sparrow and 啄 means to peck. It is a method of moving the needle up and down like a bird pecking at it’s food. Hiroshi Sensei explained that the original creator of this technique had observed birds peck at trees, and as they did this, the vibration of the pecking disturbed the insects inside the tree, causing them to move around so the bird could then locate the insects and eat them. Watching this, the creator of this technique considered how the vibrational input of an acupuncnture needle on the human body could also elicit a similar response of release.

Overall this week has really helped me to better see how the human body is dynamically integrated and one with the environment. It has also showed me the value of striving to develop greater levels of sensitivity and perception through our five senses to observe our natural world, which is abundant in its lessons to offer.