Kameya Onsen study retreat with three special teachers

Amy, one of my three roommates for this part of the journey, models our sweet tatami room at the Kameya Onsen. That, right there, is the ocean outside our window.

And while we are at dinner each night, the staff comes in and lays out our beds for the night.

Here we stayed for 3 days and studied in the Japanese way.

Awake and in class at 6 am for meditation, Kototama chanting and Oki yoga for an hour. Break for 1 hour to go walk the beach or take in the Onsen (traditional Japanese hot springs baths) before breakfast at 8. Then class all day and into the evening in tatami classrooms broken up only by meals. (The most incredible meals I have ever had and I will treat them with the respect they are due by maki g a separate post just for them!)

On Thursday, Kuzuno Genan sensei gave us the first day of lecture, demonstration and guided practice in his unique application of 8 Extraordinary Vessel and Shigo (Midday/Midnight) systems in diagnosis and treatment. Very interesting tools which I will certainly be bringing back to my clinical practice right away.

On Friday we had the pleasure of learning the Teishin technique style of Kuroyama Yukio sensei. He uses this non-insertive tool almost exclusively in treatment in his clinic. The teishin is one of the original “9 Needles” described in the ancient acupuncture texts which is really only found in use in Japan today. Kuroyama sensei uses a gold plated teishin but there are a great many styles and varieties made from everything from gold to silver, copper, brass, titanium and even platinum.

Contacting the surface of the skin with the lightest touch he creates ki movment as effectively as any insertive technique could hope to acheive. He is a remarkable man, practitioner and soul.

In addition to being an accomplished acupuncturist, Kuroyama sensei holds 6th dan in Aikido. I hold this man in high esteem and look forward to making use of his incredible guidance in the art of Teishin.

Finally, there were a few of us who were fortunate enough to get a small group lesson and treatment from one of Kuwahara sensei’s friends from Tokyo who studied with the senior student of Kuwahara sensei’s teacher. Yoshitoshi Fuku sensei gave us the gift of her teacher Yanagishta sensei’s very special san shin technique (also known as scatter needling technique). This is another noninsertive technique used over large areas to balance out tightness and deficiency in the surface level of the body.

She uses a needle made of cobalt. This is the first time I have seen this needle used. The feeling of receiving treatment with this technique is indescribably good. I really really cant put words to it but the way I felt after treatment was amazing and I hope I can replicate that for others when I get back to work next week. Kuwahara sensei, Kuzuno sensei, Kuroyama sensei and even Miyawaki sensei from earlier in this trip, all were deshi (apprentices) of Fukushima Kodo sensei who was the founder of the Toyohari association in Japan which has grown to include branches all over the world now. To study with these teachers from this lineage this week was a tremendous honor.

Domo arigatou gozai mashita sensei tache! Yoroshuko onegaishimasu!

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