Drinking vinegar is an ancient Japanese practice that dates back to feudal times, when samurai warriors carried vinegar mixed with water into battle as a tonic to fight fatigue. In present-day Japan, it is a practice that is enjoyed by nearly 70% of the population. Japanese drinking vinegars are entirely different from cooking vinegars. They contain half the acidity and are flavored with fruit. When diluted with ice and soda water, tea, juice, or even vodka or beer, the result is a crisp, refreshing drink!
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Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture? Is one better than the other? Maybe you’ve never had acupuncture before and you’re not sure who to go to…well, today we’re going behind the scenes with Japanese Acupuncturist/Pacific College Faculty Member KC Conover and Chinese Acupuncturist/Pacific College Clinic Director Dr. Greg Sperber to uncover some of the unique qualities that distinguish these two acupuncture styles.
First off, let’s look briefly at the history of acupuncture. This healing method originated in ancient China and from there, expanded into Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Every culture since then has developed their own signature style of acupuncture, but the roots remain grounded in Chinese medicine (CM). This means that Japanese acupuncturists are taught CM to begin with and from there pursue a Japanese traditional, apprentice-style training to develop the Japanese style.
One of the most frequently asked questions by first time acupuncture patients is: which one hurts less? First thing readers should know is: all acupuncturists use ultra fine needles, about 1/100th the width of a normal syringe needle, according to Sperber. Acupuncture needles are also not hollow and do not have a cutting edge; all of these traits combine to create a pain-free or close to it experience for the patient.
With that said, there are notable differences between Chinese and Japanese “needling” techniques.
· Japanese acupuncture tends to use finer needles than Chinese acupuncture and the needling is more surface-level and not as deep.
· Chinese needles tend to be slightly thicker, and the needling is deeper and stronger. Both Sperber and Conover agree that for a first-time acupuncture patient who is worried about needles, Japanese acupuncture might be the style to try first because it tends to be more comfortable for the patient.
It’s the start of a new week, which means a fresh start! Let this proverb inspire you to take each moment today and this week by the reins and make each one count…