There’s nothing to fear except pins and needles with this popular Eastern healing practice
If the thought of voluntarily piercing your skin with needles seems more like masochism than relief, you may be missing out on the Eastern healing treatment that’s gaining worldwide popularity.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice based on the belief that the human body has the power to fix itself. The treatment aims to accelerate the healing process by placing thin needles into the skin to stimulate key points on “meridians.” This is often accompanied by Moxibustion, a complementary treatment that applies heat to acupuncture points.
The overall aim is to restore the flow of chi(気) energy throughout specific pathways of the body and balance the yin and yang. When the flow of chi is blocked, pain and sickness result.
Kaz Shizawa, owner and director of EGBOK, an Oriental Clinic in Roppongi that specializes in acupuncture and massage, explains that the ideal use is preventative. “Before the body becomes sick, there is a pre-symptomatic stage, where the body shows warning signs,” he says.
Through acupuncture, Shizawa strives to “help clients to catch these signs for better health management and the general promotion of well-being”.
Shizawa likens the human body to an electrical circuit, with fuses corresponding to acupoints. The practitioner “replaces blown fuses with new ones to get electricity flowing again…. restoring and revitalizing body functions and relieving symptoms.” For back and shoulder pain, the acupuncturist uses needle stimulation to trigger the release of endorphins, facilitate blood circulation, and excrete waste products that cause muscular pain.
Linda, a regular client at EGBOK, appreciates Shizawa’s straightforward and honest approach, especially in emphasizing that effect are subtle and felt over time, instead of promising overnight results. Linda, who started out getting combination acupuncture and massage treatments for her back, soon saw the hidden benefits. “without even realizing it, my general health just started to feel better over time. I came to treat my back, but as an unexpected bonus, my overall well-being improved.” says Linda.
In addition to muscular pain, acupuncture treats a wide range of medical conditions, including digestive, respiratory, neurological, menstrual and reproductive disorders. EGBOK offers special packages to aid in lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking
Overeating and weight loss are treated by placing a needle in the ear to counter stress and imbalances in the body, which triggers a nerve in the brain to suppress appetite. Similarly, the ear is a key point to combat smoking habits, where seven extra-thin needles are shallowly inserted in the auricle to quell the desire to smoke. Shizawa claims that after two 15-20 minute treatment treatments, a smoker’s taste for cigarettes will have changed, which discourages lighting up, and he boasts a success rate of more then 50 percent.
Shizawa also caters to his large international clientele with special treatment for jetlag, which are given prior to departure. And if the promise of preventative health was not enough, acupuncture enthusiasts boast purported cosmetic benefits, such as maintaining a younger appearance through stress reduction, reduction of water retention and accelerated metabolism
With so much to gain, I decided to give it a try. My first experience was very positive. Price at \7,000 for an hour for acupuncture and massage,
Egbok’s services were excellent. The combination treatment is the way to go for first timers. Utilizing shiatsu, oil massage, hot stone, Egbok’s services are highly therapeutic and some of the best I’ve had in Tokyo,
Shizawa offers his clients instructions on how to prepare and what to expect when beginning treatment. Because nervousness may weaken effectiveness, it is important to relax. Shizawa stresses that patients should experience no pain, only an energizing sensation.
If for some reason you do feel discomfort, the needles will be removed.
After the treatment, the relaxation of muscles may induce fatigue, so plan to getting a good night’s sleep and body should feel rejuvenated in the morning.
And in case you’re wondering, the name of Egbok is an acronym for “Everything’s Gonna Be OK.”
With a name like that, what more do you need to feel at ease?