What is Unique About Kiiko Style Acupuncture?

Kiiko Style acupuncture utilizes a systematic palpatory method which is designed to provide instant feedback. When using this system, a Kiiko Style practitioner follows a palpation sequence which both establishes a diagnosis and suggests several treatment options which might be effective for treating a particular patient.

Kiiko Style acupuncture is largely defined by its use of a highly systematized method of palpation. Palpation is the ability to gain information through touch.  Palpation is a fool-proof method for obtaining instant feedback as to the patient’s condition of health. The diagnosis and treatment strategies follow one another in a circular fashion. Specific active reflexes suggest the diagnosis and the treatment efficacy can be established by changes in the same reflexes.

Kiiko Style addresses the patient’s health issues from several levels. By looking more deeply into the structural and or constitutional imbalances, which often underlie a patient’s symptomatic complaints, the practitioner is able to assist in a more complete and lasting healing. It is precisely this holistic approach which gives a Kiiko Style acupuncturist the ability to help patients with the most complex issues. Often by seeing the patient’s problem from this broader perspective, the practitioner can solve difficult cases.

The practitioner using Kiiko Style acupuncture is part of a living tradition. The teachings of this system come directly from first-hand experience gained from some of Japan’s greatest acupuncturists. I studied directly with Kiiko Matsumoto and David Euler whose combined clinical experience spans more than thirty-five years and who still continue their education by traveling at least twice a year to Japan to study with their masters. Because of this continual exposure to innovative treatment techniques and new clinical insights, Kiiko Style acupuncture continuously develops methods designed to achieve the maximum results when treating a patient. A living system of acupuncture must by definition reflect the changing needs of the time in which it is practiced and incorporate the technological improvements at its disposal. A living system is also continuously learning and deepening its understanding to provide a more complete treatment strategy and clinical results. The diagnostic and treatment methods being taught in this system accurately represent the clinical experience of some of Japan’s most respected master acupuncturists.

Benefits of Using Kiiko Style Acupuncture

The palpatory diagnostic methods in this style of acupuncture offer the practitioner an instant measure as to the effectiveness of their treatment. Both the acupuncturist and the patient will have instant feedback as to how well the treatment is working because the same reflexes which are used to determine the best treatment for a patient are also the gauge by which the treatment can be assessed.

Kiiko Style acupuncture offers a totally new way to look at patients. It combines classical Chinese medical principles with modern pathophysiology in a way that facilitates the understanding and brings out the best in both.

Within the treatment methods used in Kiiko Style acupuncture, there is a technique suitable for any patient. As a rule the needling methods are shallow and virtually painless, using the smallest gauge needles. However, for the patient who needling is contraindicated, there are numerous non-invasive techniques that are highly effective. The use of diodes, magnets, and other techniques give the practitioner many options with which to treat the most difficult patient.

In many ways, Kiiko Style acupuncture takes the practice of acupuncture from the ambiguous realm of theory into the direct experience of reality. There is no more wondering week after week if the points you are using for their supposed actions and effects will work for the diagnosis which seemed so plausible on paper. In this system "you treat what you feel". If the reflex is not present, or if specific treatment points do not significantly change the reflex quality, then some other more viable treatment option must be found. Both the practitioner and the patient always have some immediate indication as to the effectiveness of the treatment.

Acupuncture can treat:

  • Chronic and acute pain
  • Women's health and fertility
  • Hormonal imbalance and endocrine disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • Allergies and immune system imbalance
  • Insomnia, anxiety, depression & emotional imbalances 
  • Toxicity and overuse of medication
  • Scars and post-operative complications
  • Support for chemotherapy and cancer patients

Features of Kiiko Style Acupuncture:

Hara Diagnosis

Specific areas of the abdomen are reflection zones for different organs and organ systems in the body. Pressing on them give us a good indication about the function of these organs and systems, which may not even show up on the pulse.  Abdominalreflectionzonescan be reactiveevenbeforethepatientexperiences symptoms and problems and, therefore is a powerful way to help prevent illness. 

Hands-On Instant Feedback

Another main feature of this style of acupuncture is that it is very 'hands on'. Not only is there a lot of palpation used for diagnosis of the Hara, palpation is used to check reflexes in the neck, head and back plus the distal points used for treatment. Many patients find the closer contact found commonly in bodywork more comfortable and the instant feedback of the body’s muscles relaxing and reflexes lessening in pain a good indicator that the treatment is working.

Scar Treatment

Poorly healed scar tissue can be a major block to successful healing causing not just problems at the site of the scar but also at secondary locations or organs, by interfering with the meridian flow. Kiiko Matsumoto has pioneered the treatment of scar tissue as a way to unblock Qi and heal problems that have not responded to other treatments.

Unique Point Locations 

Japanese acupuncture uses many unique points, point locations and indications and these are a feature of this style. In addition the diagnostic feedback method in this style means that each point used will be unique for each patient rather than simply a text book location.



Emphasis in this style is very much on patient comfort. Very thin needles are used with the normal gauge being Japanese no2 (0.18 mm, Chinese 38 gauge). Guide tubes are always used. Needling is not necessarily very shallow like some Japanese styles, but needle stimulation is kept to a minimum, with emphasis placed on correct angle, direction and depth, rather than obtaining a strong "deqi" sensation. This makes for a very 'patient friendly' style of acupuncture, with patients often pleasantly surprised how painless acupuncture can be.


Direct (Thread) Moxa

Thread moxa is used frequently in this style to strengthen treatment. It is used either at the base of the needle or on its own. It involves lighting tiny 'threads' of super pure Japanese golden moxa placed on top of a spot of Shiunko ointment. 

Moxa on the needle - familiar to most acupuncturists - is used to warm larger areas.

Kyutoshin Moxa 

Tiger Warmer

The Tiger Warmer is a heated incense pen which allows variable heat and pressure to be applied directly to the body at precise points or larger areas. It is one of the easiest, safest and most patient friendly methods of treatment using heat.

Ion Equipment

Originally invented by Dr. Yoshio Manaka in the 1950's this method of treatment represents a modern understanding of the healing mechanism of Qi. Special cords pump the ion flow between connected needles. Kiiko Matsumoto's style incorporates both Dr. Manaka's treatment protocols and those of Master Kawai, inventor of the diode ring.


These are used during treatment for healing scar tissue or on patients who are very sensitive to needles. They are frequently used to enhance and prolong the effects of the treatment by applying them at the end of the session as "homework" for certain key points.

Press tack (Enpishin) and Intradermal (Hinaishin) Needles.

These are used in a similar way to magnets at the end of treatment as "homework" for certain key points.