How to Perform Magic

Publisher: NAJOM
By Bunzo Takamatsu
Date: 2020-10

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.

Outwardly, it has been steady gradual progress; inwardly, it has been constant struggle. What I yearned for most was an acupuncture mentor with whom I could consult when I had questions, doubts, and worry. I needed a mentor especially when I lost my self-confidence. I often wondered how other people built their self-confidence. My way of enhancing rny skills was to read and re-read books, and occasionally, to participate in workshops. Workshops were rare opportunities when I could observe masters and otherwell-trained acupuncturists. It is not hard to imagine that one could build up his/her confidence by observing teachers in actual practice with actual patients everyday, as well as sharing the time and space with them. I think confidence is contagious.

The late renowned teacher and practitioner Dr. Nagano Kiyoshi once told me an acupuncturist should develop his or her own treatment strategy by the age of 40. At over 50 now, I still don’t have one. However, I have formed my own treatment style. In fact, the more comfortable I have become with my own style, the less often I find myself attending workshops, which is very understandable because one does not get the same results as someone just by imitating their style.It takes time to assimilate and internalize a new approach. There is a reason we call our profession a medical “art.” As in any art, we eventually develop our own style.

I wanted to describe my style, but have found out it is impossible to do in words. While I talk to a new patient, a treatment plan forms in my mind. The process is quite intuitive and hard to explain. The important thing for me is whether it works, and it usually does. My task is to keep this intuition sharp. Needless to say, maintaining good health is essential. Besides a healthy diet, I do a few things to keep myself in shape. Every morning upon waking, I do a type of do-in (Taoist exercise) that I learned over 30 years ago in a Japanese fasting center. I add some yoga and stretching to it. Afterwards, I swing a four pound bokken (wooden sword) 200 times. As of this year, I have been adding meditation, which I think is going to be critical. My observation is that what patients really want from us is the ability to tell instantaneously what’s wrong with them and fix it on the spot. In other words, they want magic. We are able to perform magic every once in a while. The only difference between the masters and us is that they can perform it more constantly. Intuition is essential to th e performance of our magic.

Masters like Sawada Sensei, Fukaya Sensei, Manaka Sensei, and Nagano Sensei were all very intuitive. I used to think they were just born that way. Now I think there is more to it than that. Another factor common among them is that they are very knowledgeable. Before they became intuitive, they must have studi ed a great deal. It’s obvious from their writings. Intuition, considered primarily a right brain function, seems to be developed through the hard work of the left brain. However, I have observed another important factor. What drove these masters to study so hard? I believe they had either a very strong desire to heal their patients or a tremendous joy in what they did In other words, as long as I have the passion to help my patients, I love doing it, and keep on working on it, there is still a chance I can become like these masters.

I said I wished for a mentor. One can look forward to the day when he/she excels his/her teacher. Since the teacher is also improving this usually doesn’t happen. Yet, one can say that it is easier to go forward when you have what you are striving for right in front of you. In my case, I establish my frame, break it, a nd go on to establish a new frame that is a litt le greater than the last one. I just keep repeating this process. It is not easy, but I am enjoying it, and my magic has just started.

Takamatsu Bunzo, DOM, LAc, graduate d from the Kototama Institute, in Santa Fe, Ne Mexico, USA, in 1982. He has been practicing i” Dallas, Texas since 1988. His practice consists of acupuncture and moxibustion with so me Sotai therapy and macrobiotic counseling.