There are some other interesting differences between Toyo Hari and Chinese acupuncture. For example it is quite common for a Chinese style acupuncturist to insert the needles into the patient and leave the room while the patient is left “to cook”. In the Toyo Hari system the practitioner usually remains in the room throughout the treatment tinkering with the flow of qi in one way or another until the pulses become balanced.
This leads to another important difference: because the blind Toyo Hari masters have such a highly developed tactile sense, their school of acupuncture utilizes this skill and incorporates more palpation, touch and pulse listening for both the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The radial pulse and the abdomen are heavily relied upon for diagnosis and they are used as an instant feedback mechanism to monitor and direct the course of treatment. Treatment is broken up into several stages beginning with what we call the root treatment and ending with symptomatic control. The main focus of treatment is centered on the root causes of the disease and the underlying imbalance is always directly addressed. The root treatment begins first by balancing the yin meridians and then balancing the yang meridians.
Any deficiencies of qi are nourished and deficient meridians are strengthened, any obstructions in the flow of qi are broken up much like logjams on a river. In this way the flow of qi in the body becomes smoother, both the yin and the yang aspect are brought into balance and health and well being can then be achieved. Patients often report being surprised at feeling subtle sensations of qi flowing in their bodies as the treatment unfolds.
Toyo Hari Acupuncture also has some philosophical and spiritual differences with the Chinese styles that are more commonly practiced today. While Chinese acupuncture is steeped in the tradition of two thousand years of Taoist and Confucian thought, it is Maoist and Chinese communist ideology that has exerted a more recent influence on Chinese acupuncture both in China and here in the west. Many of the spiritual aspects of the medicine were discarded by communist ideologues in favor of a more scientific approach. Toyo Hari has been largely free of this kind of political and ideological influence and instead has remained true to its traditional Taoist and Zen Buddhist roots. Many of the Toyo Hari teachings emphasize the importance of clearing the mind, focusing intention and developing stillness while working with the patient’s qi.