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October 15, 2023

The Validation of Kiatsuhō

The Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai has 24 federations / chapters throughout the world and about 30,000 members are training.

One such federation, the Oregon Ki Society, has been very active in practicing and teaching Kiatsuhō, along with other Shinshin Toitsu Aikido programs.

Kiatsuhō is a health regimen based on Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, where a practitioner, while their ki is naturally extending, touches patients to help them relax and have better blood circulation, which improves various ailments. Pain is eased and stiffened body parts become more supple. To put it simply, Kiatsuhō is an important health regimen to help dissolve the blockage of Ki that causes various health problems. It is one of the important disciplines we have in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

Over a period of several years, Calvin Tabata Sensei (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido 8th degreeblack belt) and his core dojo members studied Kiatsuhō directly from Koichi Tohei Sensei. They became the only federation allowed to open a Kiatsuhō school in Oregon.

Many members study Kiatsuhō in addition to Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

Recently, instructor and physician Terry Copperman and other co-researchers conducted a clinical study on Kiatsuhō, and published their findings in a medical journal.

This academic journal is given a rating called Impact Factor (IF). IF of 3 or greater is generally considered to be a reliable journal. Here is the article:

Beneficial Effects of Kiatsu with Ki Training on Episodic Migraine 

Although I have some background in science, reading and understanding a medical journal article is quite difficult. So I asked for help from Takeshi Tanigawa, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Graduate School of Medicine and Chair of Department of Public Health at Juntendo University, to explain this journal article.

Tanigawa Sensei is an enthusiastic Shinshin Toitsu Aikido practitioner. “Kiatsuhō is going to be a historical step that will cut into existing alternative medicines. [This study] has a great significance in that it conducted experiments based on the strict and demonstrative methodologies of Western medicine, and successfully demonstrated the positive efficacies of Kiatsuhō.” Tanigawa Sensei explained.

This article mainly talks about migraine headaches.

And according to Tanigawa Sensei, migraine headaches have a high rate of prevalence around the world, and drug therapies
come with side effects. Existing alternative therapies also have limitations, such as high cost, and clinics who provide those  therapies are limited in number.

Kiatsuhō was demonstrated to be a promising approach. It provided sustained efficacies to female subjects with migraine headaches by significantly reducing the frequency, improving QoL (Quality of Life) scores, and reducing the need for medication use.

Of particular importance, the effectiveness of Kiatsuhō increases when combined with Ki training (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido) rather than performing Kiatsuhō alone.

It turned out that migraine symptoms improved by Kiatsuhō can be sustained by continuing Ki training. Tanigawa Sensei, who specializes in Public Health, took particular note of this point.

This clinical study was accomplished by the local instructors’ passion to spread Kiatsuhō and Ki training to the world.

In collaboration with Tanigawa sensei, we have decided to advance our research in Japan too. We have many years of experience with Kiatsuhō in Japan, and my desire is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Kiatsuhō and Ki training. So in the near future, we will begin recruiting people with a graduate degree (or bachelor degree) to get involved in these studies. Along with Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, we will spread Kiatsuhō to the world.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation

Original article in Japanese: 氣圧法の研究論文について
June 1, 2022 


October 01, 2023

Understanding Conveyed Through Ki

When I was in high school, I started taking classes at Sundai Yobikō to get ready for university entrance exams (“Yobikō”, or preparatory school, are privately-run schools marketed to high school seniors who arepreparing for college entrance exams, or in many cases, high school graduates who failed the exam to enter the university of their choice. Students can apply for college only once a year in Japan). I was attending a math class taught by Prof. Akiyama (currently, the Specially-Appointed Associate Chancellor at Tokyo University of Science). His class was very interesting and fun, even to someone who didn’t like to study specifically for college entrance exams like myself.

His class always made me say things like “I see...” and “I got it!”, and even made me feel as if I understood the full depth of mathematics. But when I returned home and tried solving math problems on my own, I just couldn’t do it, despite having thought I understood everything clearly during the class.

After having experienced this phenomenon so many times, I became aware of one thing: during his class, Akiyama Sensei was filled with an incredible excitement of having clearly understood mathematics, and his Ki was then felt by everyone in his class. Even I felt like I understood everything completely.

Of course, really understanding something requires effort and an accumulation of knowledge. However, if you think the subject matter is really difficult from the get-go, or you dislike your teacher, you will lose your “yaruki” (meaning motivation, but literally means “Ki to do/try”). In other words, Akiyama Sensei’s class motivated students (“ki o hikidasu”, which literally drawing out his one’s Ki).

I learned later that Akiyama Sensei himself was not a very good student when he was young. He failed university entrance exams, and even after he managed to become a researcher, he continued facing many setbacks. The reason he was teaching at Sundai Yobikō was to earn money to fund his research, too. However, he aspired to become a mathematics researcher because he experienced the joy of mathematics from his high school mathematics teacher. I immediately understood that this was why his class was so fun.

I am an instructor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. I am constantly researching and devising various ways to communicate something deep in a very simple way. What I try to be careful of the most is making sure that I personally feel inspired and excited about understanding something. This is because my inspiration or excitement leads other people to understand through my Ki. When instructing at the dojo, giving a lecture at a seminar, or speaking at a corporate training program, I approach each teaching opportunity in this way. Acquiring a skill requires practice and repeated effort, but being able to feel that we can do it is just as essential in any learning. If we feel we can’t do it, then we probably will not be able to.

A true leader is a person who can demonstrate to people that they can do it, too. When we understand something, our Ki naturally extends. When we can’t understand something, our Ki becomes stagnant [doesn’t flow, gets stuck]. When we communicate something to others and observe carefully each time how people extend their Ki in response to it, we can see how much they understand the subject you just communicated. If they are not understanding, it means that there is some room for improvement in the way we are communicating the subject matter. If we continuously train ourselves to help people understand the subject better, our teaching skills will also improve.

“Teach what people don’t know using only the words they do know.”

This is one of the most important points when instructing Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. It applies to when we communicate / teach verbally or in writing, too. When we always communicate / teach this way, we can also deepen our own understanding of the subject. I am always making an effort to teach this way, too.

However, this sort of “ease of understanding” has its drawbacks. When people think they understand something only from an intellectual perspective, this stops them from making an effort and practicing repeatedly. There is a saying, “suit your speech to the audience”, but we will discuss that at another time.

Professor Katsuhiro Nishinari at University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, who proposes “Jamology” (mathematically solve mechanism of spontaneous traffic jams on highways: https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/focus/en/features/voices087.html) assigns his university students to prepare a presentation on a very difficult and abstract theme in a way that middle school students can understand, so that they themselves can deepen their own understanding of the subject matter. If you are not really understanding the subject matter, this task is quite difficult, because you are required to use the words and expressions middle school students know. In Aikido, this is like developing our teaching skills in our children or kindergarten classes.

I interviewed Professor Nishinari and it was published as a book in 2019. I was impressed by his ability to talk about quite abstract subjects using only extremely simple words.
“Origin of communication lies in Ki” (No official English title)
I hope you would read the book if you haven’t done so.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation

Original article in Japanese: 理解は氣で伝わる(Rikai wa Ki de Tsutawaru) July 1, 2022 http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2022/07/post-e1a8f1.html


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