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Toyohari Acupuncture Training North America

“Therapy is not limited to individual symptoms or single organs, and the patient is not analyzed as an entity separate from his or her environment. Traditional Acupuncture is, to put it simply, people treating people.” 


Fukushima Kodo, Founder and past President of the Toyohari Medical Association

Mission Statement

Our Mission

Toyohari Acupuncture Training

© Toyohari Association of North America

The central purpose or mission of the Toyohari Association of North America (TANA) is educational:  TANA is the North American Branch of an international organization which is dedicated to educate professional acupuncturists in Toyohari Meridian Therapy.   Our core values are to provide high quality training and deepen and enhance clinical skills. Toyohari is a classically based as well as carefully clinically researched system of meridian therapy. By deepening our members’ Toyohari meridian therapy skills in diagnosis and treatment they will better be able to understand the condition and flow of Ki in the body and learn how to regulate the Ki in the body through proper application of unique, sophisticated needling techniques and through a consensually based approach to study (Kozato method). 

We exist primarily to:

  • Help oversee and support structured on-going monthly study and  educational activities of the local branches and registered members of TANA;

  • Plan and provide advanced Toyohari training and other practice  opportunities for existing members; 

  • Plan and execute approved, high quality, in depth, hands on  foundational training programs in the unique system of Toyohari for prospective members;

  • Help with research activities and to help disseminate information about Toyohari through introductory seminars, newsletters, etc. 

About Toyohari

About  Toyohari

Toyhar Acupuncture Training 2


Toyohari is a refinement of a little over 2,000 years of tradition of acupuncture derived from the Chinese classics. Its powerful effects and simple, gentle style were developed in Japan, where there is a 400 year old tradition of acupuncture practiced by blind practitioners. 


The nature of Toyohari treatments, placing great emphasis on the use of pulse diagnosis and palpation skills, is well suited to the sensitivity of these blind Japanese practitioners. The theoretical foundation of these treatment techniques is derived primarily from the Asian medical classic the Nan Jing, with influences from the Nei Jing, the Su Wen, and the Ling Shu.

In 1959 in Japan, Kodo Fukushima, a blind acupuncturist, founded the “Toyo Hari Medical Association”. Through this association hundreds of sightless meridian therapists were trained in the diagnostic and treatment techniques particular to Toyohari meridian therapy.


Kodo Fukushima wrote “Meridian Therapy”, which is available in English and required reading in Toyohari trainings.

Today, The Toyohari Association is still thriving in Japan and is spreading throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.


The Toyohari Association has developed quite unique training and teaching methods that accelerate the learning of skills that may otherwise take many years of practice to fully develop. Many students that have studied Toyohari style of acupuncture have reported that it is more like what they were looking for when they went through acupuncture school. This is because Toyohari trains them to work directly with the patient’s Ki and is less abstract in nature.

In 1988-1990, Steve Birch and Junko Ida organized the first official studies in Toyohari in the US in Boston.  In 1991, the first Toyohari program was in Boston at The New England School of Acupuncture and in New York, and the first Toyohari Branch was established in Boston.  Since then we’ve been offering the program in Boulder, Colorado; several locations in Florida; Portland, OR, Austin, TX; Washington DC area; Seattle, WA; as well as Boston, MA.  And the programs has been continuing and the number of locations expanding.  Now we have the Toyohari Branches in various European countries, Australia and New Zealand, and more to come.

Special thank you to…


For people who have taken our programs in the past, joined our organization, or had move on to your journey, thank you so much for being part of TANA.


And Stephen Birch (chairperson of the non-Japanese branches of Toyohari Association) and Junko Ida (Europe branch president and Communication Coordinator) who reside in Amsterdam, and oversee Toyohari in the US and Australasia.


And of course, our sensei in Japan to continue to support our skills and academic study.

What is Toyohari

Toyohari is a style of acupuncture that focuses on direct perception and treatment of the Qi. The Toyohari Association has developed quite unique training and teaching methods that can accelerate the learning of skills that usually take many years of practice to develop. It is a direct method of diagnosis and treatment of Qi that complements the rather more abstract ways of working with the patient’s Qi.

The Toyohari program is 18 days of training over 8 to 9 months. Graduates of this program will:


  • Considerably improve their pulse and tactile diagnostic and assessment skills.

  • Also develop a greater sense of qi sensitivity through applying the needling techniques of the Toyohari Association.

  • Learn a range of methods specifically aimed at relieving symptoms.

  • Be able to join ongoing study groups through joining the Toyohari Association.

There are local monthly study groups, National Seminars with teachers from Japan and opportunities to study in Japan. Please check the current Branches in the US.


We have many benefits available once you take the program, and become a Toyohari member.

View our Testimonial section.

Why Toyohari?

Specialized Training

Practitioners of the Toyohari style of acupuncture have received specialized training with gentle (and often non-insertive) needling techniques using very fine silver and stainless steel needles. They are also experienced with and able to feel the movement of energy (Ki in Japanese and Qi in Chinese) during the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. This allows our practitioner’s treatments to be gentle and very specifically directed at balancing each individual patient’s essential vitality.

Toyohari also adopts the principle, originating from the Nanjing, that for needling to be effective it is not necessary for the patient to experience heavy sensations or pain from the needling (often called “deqi”), which is often characteristic of other styles of acupuncture. Toyohari trained acupuncturists are sensitive to the patients energy flow and feel a connection to their Ki. This helps avoid strong surges in the patients Ki, pain during needling and the leaking of Ki.



In summary, Toyohari treatments are comfortable, gentle and precise. The patient’s pulses are read after each technique is applied to check for effectiveness and to determine if any more treatment is needed. Patients generally remain clothed, although they are asked to wear loose clothing.

Needle Phobia?


Toyohari treatments are excellent for all patients and especially appropriate for infants, children, seniors, needle phobic and sensitive patients.


Classic Principles
Toyohari Branches

Toyohari treatments are excellent for all patients and especially appropriate for infants, children, seniors, needle phobic and sensitive patients.


Following the principles of the Nanjing, Section 69, we use our gentle needling techniques to treat the root meridian imbalances to strengthen the patient's whole system.  During this part of the treatment we supplement the deficient meridians and then we disperse any excess energy that has not been cleared by the root supplementation. 


In addition to the basic balancing of the patient’s twelve main meridians, we apply specific and unique supportive treatment techniques developed to address symptomatic issues.  

We established our non-profit status and all branches were united as Toyohari Association of North America in 2006. Since then, our committed board members have been spent their time and energy tirelessly striving to promote the Toyohari art of healing in the US. We have offered dozens of programs over the years, and it’s still growing. We currently have an Atlantic Branch and a Northwest Branch in the US. We also have branch in Europe and Australasia. Once you become a member of Toyohari, you can visit any branch to study with them. 






Needling is generally done with very thin silver needles for supplementation and with thin stainless steel needles for dispersion. Most of our needling techniques are non-insertion style, with the acupuncturists treating by following the improving movement of Ki.


These include a variety of specific techniques for supplementation and for dispersion. Included in these techniques are moxibustion, extra vessel balancing, circadian clock balancing, micro bleeding. Also included are specialized needling techniques for stagnation and excess or deficiency in the inguinal, sacral, abdominal, cervical and shoulder regions.


Treatment is largely based on the practitioner’s ability to feel and work with Ki (energy) throughout the patient’s body. In accordance with tradition, Toyohari uses the “four diagnoses” (asking, looking, listening and touching), to find energetic imbalances in patients. Palpations skills are enhanced as acupuncturists learn to feel the deficiency of Ki, the excess of Ki and the abundance of healthy Ki directly with their hands.



Progress during treatment is closely monitored point by point to follow the changes in the pulse after each needling technique. The treatment will be adjusted, if necessary, as each needle application is monitored.

Since, through special training practices, we coach our practitioners to feel the energy move, it is not necessary to cause the patient pain to know the Ki has arrived at the point being treated. Toyohari practitioners understand how important it is to feel the Ki and know precisely how it is adjusting to the treatment.


Toyohari is a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.  All contributions are tax deductible.  Your donation helps support the educational mission, programs and services provided by TANA.

Donate via Credit Card to: Toyohari Association of North America

 Your support makes a difference.

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