Voices — I would very grateful if people who visited my clinic (for treatment) or my website for a peek, could find it in their heart to leave a comment. (I am still trying to figure out, how this really works.) Or else in places that are a little more visible, like Google maps or word-of-mouth sites like “Acupuncture Compass“.
Corporate Social Responsibility（CSR）
My little clinic is definitely not a corporation or an enterprise, only a little shop. Nevertheless I think as a member of the local community this goes along with certain responsibilities to “serve” the community – which is after all the basis of my life. While there is very little I can do, I briefly summarized my feeble efforts at contributing to the community.
- For low income earners
- Moxibustion classes
- Observation for students
- Foreign visitors
- Place for training acupuncture craftsmen (and women)！
For low income earners
Personally I believe it is inappropriate for acupuncture treatment being as high-priced as it unfortunately tends to be in the community – rendering this treatment form almost entirely to be a luxury item reserved for the wealthy. I CAN NOT related to that sort of thinking. If possible, acupuncture and moxibustion treatment should also be available for low-income earners, ideally for free. Although my very limited means and the necessity of paying the running cost for my clinic, I cannot provide the treatment for free, but over the last 2-3 years a number of people deliberately paid me more than the usual treatment fee. That “excess” money goes into a little fund. Using that money I offer low-income earners reduced treatment fees.
Being a low-income earner myself, I can understand how other people in similar situations are feeling (and maybe what they need).
I have not raised my treatment fee over the last 30 years. Even though there are definitely always people visiting me, who most likely have problems paying my fee (4,000 Yen), even though they do not say so. The corona pandemic has only increased the number of people in need – low-income earners. As an acupuncturist I would like to live up to my responsibility for these low-income earners.
In spring 2020 a young patient visited my clinic and for a number of reasons insisted on paying MORE than my usual treatment fee. He said, I may use the extra money as I please. Using it for personal purposes did not seem appropriate, so I set up this little “fund” and since then a number of people have contributed to that fund. Gratefully, a I could treat a number of other people for less than the usual fee. Unfortunately there are more “less fortunate” people around, then most people assume.
Someone also suggested I should start a “cloud funding”. But that is something I refuse to do. In my little clinic I know both the generous people willing to give (in one case it was just $1.65, but that was for the person still a generous amount!) and the people who benefit from this generosity. I do NOT like the anonymity of cloud funding.
So far none of the people who are obviously wealthy has ever found it in his or her heart to give anything.
I would very much appreciate, if you could be honest when declaring to be a low-income earner. As already stated above I myself am definitely a low-income earner. I find it rather insulting and highly inappropriate when people visit my clinic driving a Mercedes Benz or in one case a Porsche and then tell me they don’t have enough (???) money. Considering the time and effort I spent on treatments my clinic is maybe already one of the most affordable ones in the area.
Moxibustion is basically a folk medicine. Meaning that you are NOT supposed to get treated by some famous magician, but should do that yourself to maintain your health. Like you are supposed to brush your teeth daily and not rely on a “cleaning” performed by a dentist once every six months.
Being always called “sensei” = teacher / guide I have offered to teach (Japanese site) my patients how to do moxibustion on themselves.
The technique(s) needed for the moxibustion are not that difficult. Once you learn this little trick, using the real “moxa”, you will have a very reasonable treatment modality at your command, that might make many visits to doctors unnecessary.
Until quite recently I offered my “consultations” free of charge, but considering the time these meetings usually take, I would appreciate something like a little “tip”. Even though my list of fees showed consultations to be free of charge, MOST Japanese people voluntarily offered maybe 10-20 USD. Most foreigners took me by my word and used my consultation service for free. Even if that took 2-3 hours.
My “consultations” are more like explanations and should help patients to understand their currently situation, show them possible treatment options and maybe help to protect them from fancy and/or misleading commercials etc.
Observation for students
The Japan Acupuncture & Moxibustion Association contacts all member clinics nationwide and requests, they allow students to get treated, preferably WITH some explanations about what is done, for a reasonable fee. I have had a number of such students in my clinic too. Usually I get very excited and spend maybe 2-3 hours or longer with the students, trying to explain all sorts of things. The above mentioned association requests the fee being no higher than 3,000 Yen. Mostly I took about 2,000 Yen.
My website is by now 22 years old. Containing mostly Japanese but also English and German entries, over the last 15-20 years a number of foreigners contacted me. As far as I can remember all of those people already had some sort of license, but wanted to observe / study acupuncture in Japan. Although I am not well connected I tried to find them clinics / practitioners allowing them to observe. This turned out to be quite difficult at times, but I believe I can look back on a number of successful cases of foreigners being able to learn from Japanese practitioners. I am still trying to find more practitioners willing to let foreigners observe in their clinics.
*** I am not really xenophobic or that much prejudiced, but due to a number of very unpleasant events over the last years, I have chosen NOT to help / support certain groups of people. If people visiting my site do not like or approve of my choice, they are welcome. But I believe I am also entitled to have preferences.
I consider myself a craftsman, but compared to most Japanese colleagues I am probably still very immature. Personally, I think I will need another 200 years of practice to get things at least half-way right. Accordingly, “research” is way beyond my capabilities, but having worked as a freelance translator in Japan for about 35 years I may possibly be able to help with the translation of research published in Japanese.
During my work as a translator I noticed, that there is only ONE very small Japanese-English dictionary of oriental medicine. So, during my work I started collecting terms, organize them in a spreadsheet and in some cases provided my very own translations of certain terms. In the end I would like to build a glossary, or maybe even a little dictionary (a page still only in Japanese), about terms/phrases in this specific field, but I am still very far from reaching that goal. Me asking Japanese practitioners for help has unfortunately not been fruitful.
In time I will try to show what I have done so far. It MIGHT possibly be helpful to some people.
Place for training acupuncture craftsmen (and women)！
Well, this is probably NOT of interest to foreigners, so I will keep the description to a minimum.
Six years ago my mother in law passed away and the house is currently empty, except for my wife teaching piano there 2 days a week.
I proposed setting up a little clinic there specifically meant for young, freshly graduated acupuncturists trying to get some experience of their own. Working in other practitioners clinics can be rather frustrating I am told.
This proposition of mine has after 5 years had no resonance at all, so there IS NO clinic there yet. Pity.