Nausea and Gentle Japanese Acupuncture

I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop held by Mizutani Junji Sensei recently. Sensei is the world's foremost authority on the art of tonetsukyuu (rice grain moxibustion). You might remember this technique from another article of mine, about the "Phantom Nose Toucher".  Basically, it's a form of heat therapy involving a herb called mugwort (artemisia vulgaris).

Sensei's skills were a delight to watch, developed as they were from decades of dedicated practice. I found my own speed and precision with moxibustion increased just from being in the same room with him!

In addition to his decades of experience and precisely honed skills, Sensei also presented us with some amazing quick-fix techniques which I found very exciting.

I believe that a practitioner of Oriental Medicine's primary focus should always be on the long path. That is, we have to make sure we are getting the basics right, practicing fundamental skills, improving our diagnostic algorithm, knowing our theory and our anatomy, honing our palpation. It's on this foundation that we can build consistent and reliable results for our patients.

However, it is also very good for a practitioner to have some quick, easy solutions to common problems. We don't always have access to our clinic beds, and it isn't always possible or practical to go through an entire treatment procedure.

My absolute favorite new quick fix, courtesy of Mizutani Junji Sensei, is for nausea. Sensei explained that if you insert a needle at a specific point in someone's neck at a certain depth for 10 seconds, you can significantly reduce nausea!

I've tried it twice already with fantastic results. The first time, I tried it on someone with a hangover. Within a few minutes their nausea had gone from a 5/10 to 0.5/10. Score!

The second time, I tried it on a person recovering from very recent, very serious abdominal surgery. As you might imagine, the surgery and the strong painkillers had combined to make her mighty queasy.

On this particular night, her hospital dinner sat cooling before her, an object of abject revulsion.

I spent the 20 seconds necessary to apply Sensei's technique.

Within two minutes, the patient had begun eating. Within 5 minutes, she had polished off the whole thing!

Thanks to Mizutani Junji Sensei for giving away such cool secrets. I intend to do them justice.

Adam McIntosh