The 1st edition of Congress The Journey of the Needle was held in Maastricht the Netherlands 8-9 Oktober 2016. TJotN objective is to focus on the use of acupuncture needles in Healthcare.

Needles and styles

The focus of tJotN is the use of acupuncture needles in Healthcare.  Acupuncture needles or needle like instruments have been a part of the medical instrumentarium throughout centuries in the East as well as the West, but the most detailed  contribution comes from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). And most of us will make associations of this kind. But in fact the use of acupuncture needles is much broader. It covers a whole lot of styles and along with it possibilities of treating your patients.
Could we define commonalities and differences?


1.The use of acupuncture needles or needle like devices.

Roughly speaking needle types range from non-invasive ones used in soft needling like japanese techniques to the more aggresive ones used in acupotomology

Other examples ( in miscellaneous order and not complete!):

2. Mode of action

Definition of  the overall mode of action:
To evoke a therapeutic response either local or at a defined target in a body structure, with the use of an acupuncture needle or needle like instrument via points or areas on the body.

3. Hands on.

A typicality that is shared in needling is the feature of being a hands on intervention. This implies that the specific effect lies within the hands of the therapist rather than in the intervention itself like in medication or is a responsibility of the patient as is the case in excercise or lifestyle changes. From a scientific standpoint this makes needling a more closer resemblance to surgery than to pharmaceuticals. Hence the way of scientific conduct should be different.

And How do styles differ?

1. Although all needling evokes a therapeutic response either local or central, needling styles mainly differ in the way how modes of action are explained.
As in all interventions, needling styles are based on theories that define the manner (how and why) of the specific style of needling. They explain the effect of the needling. Theories can be roughly divided in traditional ones and western medical ones. The style of the traditional ones are embedded in eastern cosmological frameworks whereas the western medical ones uses the body’s anatomy and physiology. E.g. points in acupuncture are meaningful units that all have a relation with a mind body interconnected perception of the human body. In contrast with the  western medical deductive view which uses a biomedical or neurophysiological viewpoint of the human body.  The choice of style is mainly a personal choice.

2. Manipulations

Although the overall aim is shared in needling styles the specific manipulation techniques can differ . Manipulation can be performed by hand or by a device.

With each theory comes a different prescription of manipulation of the needle.

3.Type of needle
There is a huge variation in needle types linked to the different styles of needling.


Johanna Biemans


Great picture! Thnx..

Johanna Biemans

Thank you

What is acupotomology?

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