Posted on Posted in Acupuncture
The Jitsometer

This is a short post aimed at acupuncturists who are concerned with ways to moderate the intensity of acupuncture treatment according to the strength and sensitivity of the patient. It's a follow on to a piece I wrote in NAJOM called Dosage and the Goldilocks Zone. If you want me to post that here, I can!

But first of all, many thanks to all those wonderful students I met last weekend in the most recent Manaka Level 1 in Jakarta, who helped me formulate this idea. I really had a great weekend teaching!

Students in Menaka Level 1 Jakarta workshop

The image above is a simple visual conceptual tool to picture a patient's sensitivity to treatment, an essential first step to designing a treatment that works.

Let’s talk first about the Japanese word ‘’jitsu’’. Jitsu usually means excess, especially in comparison to ‘’kyo’’. However, there’s another meaning in Japanese where ‘’jitsu’’ means something positive: something like ‘’bursting with life’’ or in ‘’rude good health’’. In other words, ‘’very robust’’

So I’ve taken to visualising an imaginary ‘’Robustness’’ or ‘’Strength’’ meter in the moment before I start planning my patient’s treatment. If the patient looks, sounds and feels strong, relatively healthy and robust I can do a full treatment, using all the steps and tools in my repertoire. I can focus a lot on branch treatment, as well as root.

Conversely, if the patient scores low, because of age, weakness, chronicity of problems, or natural sensitivity etc, then I should dial down the treatment, and do less, spending less time overall and focusing more on the root than the branch. It’s a really simple (and intuitive) way of visualising what we are picking up that can guide us to choose the right dosage of treatment.

I even thought of a name for it, ‘’The Jitsometer’’!

What do you think?