Sushi Versus Stir-Fry: My Move from TCM Acupuncture to Japanese Acupuncture

Originally published in North American Journal of Oriental Medicine, July 1995

Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD

Why have I turned to Japanese style? I can compare Japanese and Chinese styles by referring to cooking, looking at Japanese sushi versus a Chinese stir-fried rice dish. Both are very nutritious; both are delicious. But sushi is exquisite in its design, execution, and taste. It is delicate, thoughtful, and subtle. Stir-fry is tasty and satisfying, but it lacks finesse and sophistication. Ingredients are cut quickly, tossed without much thought, and served efficiently. If one is to pursue acupuncture as an art, one that requires a lifetime of study, practice, and effort, one should apply oneself to the more refined Japanese style. In this way, one will move beyond medical application, towards a cultivation of feeling, sensing, and affecting the patient’s energetic network. The ultimate achievement is not only enhanced health for the patient, but as important, personal development through self cultivation of a very ancient and spiritual art.

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