The following articles were written by Bunzo Takamatsu for the North American Journal of Oriental Medicine. Each volume is presented in it’s original format of both English and Japanese.
Spinocerebellardegeneration is a rare disease that afflicts one in 100,000 people. Part of the central nervous system - such as the cerebellum and brain stem that control coordination, muscle movement, and some sensory function -gradually wear away.
We seem to be experiencing the second boom of acupuncture in America. Even cats and dogs are getting acupuncture, but of course, they get it from veterinary doctors. Just recently, I was very surprised to know that there is a large group of veterinarians who do acupuncture and their group is called I.V.A.S. (International Veterinary Acupuncture Association).
I get questions like: “Will the stenosis get better?” from a patient who came in with a report that shows spinal stenosis. Or, “Will the cartilage grow back?” from a patient with knee pain who was told it was “bone on bone” and that surgery was recommended.
It has been over 25 years since I started this business. For many years, I kept myself busy improving my abilities while at the same time making living. For the last two or three years, my practice has been very busy, averaging 30 patients a day.
The beauty of Oriental medicine is its comprehensiveness. Except for surgery, it covers almost all the other areas, such as internal medicine, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, and even psychiatry. That psychology and physiology are one is the Oriental medical stance.
Late at night on February 24, 2006, my sixth child was born. As usual, it was a home birth. I thought by now we should be able to do this all by ourselves, but my wife wasn’t comfortable with the idea, and we ended up having a midwife after all.
I always strive for a type of treatment that is more univer- sal Oess technical), and more general. In other words, I’m attracted to a type of treatment which can be used by anyone . The simpler, the fewer tools needed and the cheaper, it is the better.
I have a rather unique friend, who is a medical doctor but does not want to practice medicine. He teaches in a college in New Mexico. I cannot forget the story he told me about his doctor friend.
This past September 8-10, I attended the Extraordinary Vessel Treatment seminar taught by Miyawaki Sensei in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A three-day seminar is hard on an aged body, but considering the fact that Miyawaki Sensei, who looks my age, is in fact, one cycle (12 years) older than me, I cannot complain.
For nearly ten years I had worked in a restaurant. Every single day I would cut vegetables, peel shrimps, and make tempura. It wasn’t fun. The restaurant I worked at has become very successful but when I started working, the owners were working day and night, and did everything themselves.
“Why do you think Shuda sensei is so popular?” I once asked this journal’s director, Mr. Mizutani. “It’s his personality,” he said. Though his eyes are small, Mr. Mizutani’s insight about people is a reliable one. He also said, “Shuda Sensei seems very relaxed, so much so that he may look even lazy, but actually he is a very studious student. He just doesn’t show it.”
I found it strange that the first thing Ikeda Sensei said in his seminar in San Francisco, in March, was that we should be students. Are we not students when we come to seminars? Why does he make sure of it? In Zen principle there are three stages of learning: “Shu”(Keeping), “Ha”(Breaking), and “Ri”(Reaping).
Thirty years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, one of my classmates brought a book called Introduction to Yoga by Masahiro Oki. I borrowed the book and read it that night. It was quite a surprise to find out what yoga was really about for a person who had thought it was a type of stretching exercise.
I mean to brag, but just a little bit. It is not about one of my remarkable treatments. It is about moxibustion. To be more specific, it is about how to stick the first moxa on the acupoint. Therefore, it may not interest you unless you do moxibustion.
It’s been five months since we moved to Mexico. I closed my 20-year practice in the United States. For the last year or so I was seeing 30 patients a day. It took me a great deal of determination and tremendous energy to close the practice.
Though I never met him, it was Macrobiotics founder George Ohsawa who led me to Oriental Medicine. When I was 19, I went to a fasting center to do 15 days of fasting and I encountered his books there. A book can have a big influence on people.
Whenever I meet an obstacle in my work, I wish for a mentor to consult with. It has been 35 years since I started practicing acupuncture. Though I am busy enough, my skill level could still be much better.