Modified and translated by CFJA
This is the fourth blog on acumoxa therapy. Since the content on acumoxa therapy is heavy due to its long history and it played a central role in the medical field in Japan and China, we will be breaking it down into pieces and writing several blogs. This time we will be talking about acumoxa therapy after the Edo period (1603 – 1868).
What is Eastern Medicine? 01 talked about acupuncture therapy from the ancient times to the Asuka period (592 – 710), 02 talked about acupuncture therapy until the beginning of the Edo period (1603 – 1868), 03 talked about moxibustion therapy until the beginning of the Edo period. 04 is about acumoxa therapy after the Edo period.
Acupuncture therapy was originally practiced as a surgical treatment to remove the pus. In the 400s (the Kofun period), Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion therapy was brought from the Korean peninsula and was fused with the Japanese medical therapies that were practiced since ancient times. In 701 (the Asuka period), the first health care system, taiho ritsuryo『大宝律令』(Taiho Code) ishitsuryo「医疾令」(Order of Medical Services) was established. Acumoxa therapy came to be used as a national medical therapy and harishi 針師 (acupuncturist) was responsible for it. Around 984 when Tanba Yasuyori, the doctor of acupuncture 針博士 dedicated the medical book Ishinpo 医心方 (one of the national treasures in Japan) to the imperial court, acumoxa therapy came to be used not only for surgical illness but also for internal illness. Doctors 医師 (Jp. Ishi) used a comprehensive range of therapeutic methods including herbal therapy 薬草治療, acumoxa therapy 鍼灸治療, oketsu therapy 瘀血治療 (cupping therapy), anma therapy 按摩治療 (massage therapy) for injuries like fractures, exercise therapy including onsen therapy 温泉治療 (hot spring therapy) and yosei 養生 (self-care). However, only a specific/few people were able to practice herbal therapy due to the difficulties transporting and obtaining herbs from China and Korea. A therapy using domestic herbs in Japan (known as wakan yaku 和漢薬) emerged, and acupuncturists created new treatment tools and techniques in an attempt to treat a variety of conditions merely with acupuncture and moxibustion therapy.