Shakuju Chiryo – Needleless Acupuncture

Shakuju Chiryo is a popular system of Japanese Meridian Therapy based on the concept of Qi. It is a form of needleless acupuncture. In Shakuju theory, illness is perceived as a manifestation of a decline of the body’s vital force or Jing Qi. The abdominal pattern, referred to as Sho, is the primary source of diagnostic information. The object of Shakuju Therapy is to tonify Jing Qi in order to eliminate symptoms. Treatment in this context is a life-affirming act designed to promote longevity and well being rather than simply to ‘combat disease’

Both the concept and the methodology of the Shakuju system combine three fundamental elements of the body’s vital energy system:

  • The Hara 丹田 – the abdominal center of physiological vital force;
  • The Spinal Energy System – the original source of our being and our link with other realms of consciousness;
  • Qi Gong – the development of the body’s ability to intentionally store, concentrate, and distribute vital force.

Shakuju is a reliable and significant methodology for achieving remarkable    therapeutic results. Besides being a form of needleless acupuncture, the distinctive features of Shakuju are as follows:

  • The qi paradigm can be used to understand all disease symptoms.  This means that the practitioner perceives patients’ symptoms as various disruptions of the dynamic flow of qi.  The names of symptoms and diseases are expressed as a condition of qi circulation.  The condition of qi circulation translates directly to relevant therapeutic action and countermeasures of symptoms and signs.
  • This model defines diseases as a bias or a stagnation of qi, with cold considered its ultimate cause.  Cold is a decline of the body’s vital force due to various hereditary and environmental causes.  It is a root cause of disease.  Shaku and jyu detected in the abdomen are manifestations of cold.  Cold is the natural dissipation of vitality that starts at the beginning of life.  This approach implies that all disease phenomena are an acceleration of senescence (aging). .

Treatment consists of moving qi in the body.

A basic premise of Shakuju regards the body as a totality of qi.  Tissue is a dense layered structure of qi.  All changes and phenomena arising from treatment are manifestations of various aspects of the movement of qi.  This means that qi is a universal concept with which to translate all biological phenomena into terms that have therapeutic meaning.

Treatment consists of eradicating cold.

Since fundamental cold (hie) is ultimately the origin of disease, treatment involves the attempt to eliminate jing qi vacuity (diminished life force or vitality). Hie is the same as jing qi vacuity and can manifest as either cold or heat.  Mobilizing the body’s vitality by clearing the abdominal pattern is the fundamental means to eradicate hie.  The result of this effort, i.e., warming the patient’s body, can set the course toward eliminating all disease symptoms.

Emphasis is placed on identifying and treating the abdominal and dorsal regions.

Palpation of the abdomen establishes the identity of the pattern (sho) by assessing the shaku.  The practitioner selects shu points on the back to treat.  Typically, the first therapeutic necessity is to base the treatment on addressing the abdominal shaku and removing the root cold condition to warm the body.

  • The abdomen (Hara 丹田) houses the vital organs (the most condensed form of Ki 氣 in the body) and can reflect internal imbalances.
  • Each abdominal conformation (Sho 証) is matched with a treatment sequence corresponding to the shaku, including signs, symptoms and constitution (Taishitsu 體質 – 体 质).
  • The pulse exam is used to further determine excess (Jitsu 實) and deficiency (Kyo 虛), Strong or Healthy (Jobu) 陽証 (Yosho), Moderate or Ordinary (Futsu) 中証 (Chusho), Weak or Non-energetic 虚弱証 (Kyojyakusho), as well as the Pattern of disharmony (Byosho).
  • The monitoring of the abdomen and any changes that ensue with Shakuju therapy is paramount. Symptom relief will be temporary at best if morphological changes noted in the abdomen at the initial encounter with the patient are not resoled or resolving.

Supplementary Treatment.

If the basis of pathology or stagnation of the qi is so strong that the effect of the fundamental treatment is not sufficient to correct the presenting condition, supplemental treatment is added to further enhance the circulation of qi.


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