Modified and translated by CFJA
With regards to the 8 techniques, we will present the translated Chinese text with some explanation (It seems that some parts of the Chinese-to-Japanese translation in the book, Chuirinsho『中医臨床』(Clinical Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), vol. 8, no.3 (regular volume 142), about Cheng Dan’an’s techniques are inaccurate (due to the difference in the interpretation of the technique). Thus, Dr. Seino’s interpretation will be added to fix the translation.), and Dr. Seino’s commentary will follow.
(From here on, the content will be specialized and very difficult to understand for those who are not an acupuncturist. If you are not interested or if you find it hard to continue reading, please skip everything except ⑤.)
① Simple insertion technique 単刺術 (Jp. tanshi jyutsu)
A technique that involves immediately removing the needle after inserting it into the muscle layer. This method is considered to induce small stimulation. This method is subjected to children or patients receiving acupuncture therapy for the first time or patients who had extremely weakened.
(Dr. Seino’s commentary)
This technique supports all 4 methods. It seems that Cheng Dan’an has learned in Japan a technique other than achieving De Qi after inserting the needle. However, inserting a needle into the muscle layer will harm an extremely weak patient, thus, Dr. Seino only inserts the needle just on the surface of the skin. Since the needle is much thicker, it has a different effect from the simple insertion technique 単刺術 from Japan.
② Twisting technique 旋捻術 (Jp. sennen jyutsu)
A technique that involves twisting the needle left and right with the right thumb and index finger upon needle insertion, after needle insertion, or upon needle removal to induce somewhat strong stimulation. It has the effect of activation and suppression. This technique is for 1. activation needle method 興奮針法, 2. suppression needle method 抑制針法, and 3. reflection needle method 反射針法.
(Dr. Seino’s commentary)
This technique is passed down from ryoko jyutsu 両行術 in Sugiyama Shinden style 杉山真伝流 (Jp. sugiyama shinden ryu). In 1911 (the 44th year of the Meiji period), Shingo Yamamoto renamed it sennen jyutsu 旋撚術 (twisting technique). Cheng Dan’an studied in Japan in 1934 (the 2nd year of the Showa period), and, likely, he had also learned this technique. In 1947 (the 15th year of the Showa period), when Sorei Yanagiya introduced an acupuncture technique by modifying it into 21 techniques, he established a technique called the twisting technique 旋捻術 and presented the technique by omitting the description of the manipulation after needle insertion from sennen jyutsu 旋撚術. Since it was in 1957, after the death of Sorei Yanagiya, when Cheng Dan’an introduced the 8 techniques, he must have taken Sorei Yanagiya’s term twisting technique 旋捻術. However, the twisting technique 旋捻術 that the Cheng Dan’an and Sorei Yanagiya are referring to is different. In Japan, the technique performed upon needle insertion or needle removal is called the rotation technique 回旋術 (Jp. kaisen jyutsu). There are two ways of performing the rotation technique 回旋術. Cheng Dan’an’s twisting technique 旋捻術 incorporates one of the two ways of rotation technique 回旋術. In other words, Cheng Dan’an’s twisting technique 旋捻術 is a combination of the Japanese sennen jyutsu 旋撚術 and one of the two ways of rotation technique 回旋術. We would not have had to explain this if Cheng Dan’an had referred to Shingo Yamamoto’s book and named his technique as sennen jyutsu 旋撚術. We presume that Cheng Dan’an referenced the term twisting technique 旋捻術 which was coined by Sorei Yanagiya and was later educated in Japan as one of the 17 techniques. Looking at other Cheng Dan’an techniques, at the very least, it seems that the objective of the technique is to obtain De Qi. Hence, we think it is reasonable to say that this was established by omitting the techniques that required Japan’s shinmyo 鍼妙 (mysterious acupuncture sensation).
It is not certain why Sorei Yanagiya established the twisting technique 旋捻術 by omitting the manipulation after the needle insertion from sennen jyutsu 旋撚術. However, from the practitioner’s point of view, since the reaction of the patient is different upon needle insertion and needle removal compared to after needle insertion when the needle is retained in the body, he probably thought that it was better to teach them separately. Sennen jyutsu 旋撚術 is very clinical. Although this manipulation technique is understandable as a practitioner since it was introduced in the book, shogaku yori goukaku madeno shinkyu igaku zensho・dainikan『初学より合格までの鍼灸医学全書・第二巻』(The Complete Beginner’s Guide for Passing the Exam in Acupuncture and Moxibustion) which was targeted for students, it makes sense for Sorei Yanagiya to separate sennen jyutsu 旋撚術 into twisting technique 旋捻術 and rotation technique 回旋術 for the beginners.
③ Sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術 (Jp. jyakutaku jyutsu)
A technique that involves quickly moving the needle shaft up and down many times, like the pecking of a sparrow – called oscillation technique 提挿 (Jp. teiso) – in China after the needle tip has reached a certain level of depth. Depending on the speed and strength, this is a method that induces activation 興奮 and suppression 抑制 effect. This technique is for 1. activation needle method 興奮針法, 2. suppression needle method 抑制針法 and 3. reflection needle method 反射針法.
(Dr. Seino’s commentary)
There are two types of sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術: upon needle insertion and after the needle has been inserted to a certain depth. Cheng Dan’an has only taught the latter way, clearly indicating that the technique is used to obtain De Qi. This technique is flexible in giving both weak and strong stimulation. However, when practicing acupuncture therapy without using oshide 押手 (supporting needle hand), the practitioner must use a thick needle, in other words, it becomes a technique that can only induce strong stimulation. Originally, the beauty of the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術 is in its ability to induce weak stimulation. Therefore, Cheng Dan’an’s sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術 can only treat less than half of what it can treat. This technique was passed down from Sugiyama Shinden style.
④ Roof leaking technique 屋漏術 (Jp. okuro jyutsu)
A technique slightly different from the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術. Insert one-third of the needle shaft, perform the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術, insert an additional one-third of the needle shaft, perform the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術, and insert the final one-third of the needle shaft and perform sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術. A similar procedure is performed upon needle removal: draw out one-third of the needle and perform the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術. This technique is exclusively for inducing strong stimulation and is for methods involving suppression 抑制 and induction 誘導. This technique is for 2. suppression needle method 抑制針法, 3. reflection needle method 反射針法, and 4. induction needle method 誘導針法.
(Dr. Seino’s commentary)
There are two types of roof leaking techniques 屋漏術. One is called, major chord technique 三調術 (Jp. sancho jyutsu) from Sugiyama Shinden style. Although the needle is inserted each third, the sparrow pecking technique 雀啄術 is not performed. Once the needle is inserted, it is retained, and later, one-third is inserted again. The same steps are taken upon needle removal. It can be said that this technique values shinmyo 鍼妙 (mysterious acupuncture sensation). The second is called Hiromichi Yoshida’s technique. Cheng Dan’an has passed down this method. He has chosen this method to obtain De Qi because it induces a strong stimulation.※Hiromichi Yoshida is the representative of the Sugiyama style 杉山流, who led the field of acumoxa during the Meiji and Taisho periods. It has been said that Sorei Yanagiya was directly taught by Hiromichi Yoshida.