The style of acupuncture I specialize in is known as Toyohari, which is a form of Japanese Meridian Therapy. The needling is very gentle and almost always completely painless; in fact, often I don’t need to insert the needle at all, I can stimulate the point on the skin surface. My patients typically experience a comfortable session, with deep relaxation.
The type of training I went through is described in this video, from my colleague Oran Kivity: youtube
We Meridian Therapy practitioners can be that gentle and still be as or more effective as practitioners of other styles of acupuncture because of the accuracy with which we find points and the subtlety of our needling techniques; rather than just finding the point from a standard book, we’re trained to find the “live” point that will be most effective for the person at the time.
As you can see from Oran’s video, we go through intense hands-on training in the Toyohari association in order to become that accurate. Many of our teachers are blind, and in fact Toyohari’s founder, Kodo Fukushima, lost his sight during World War II; they’ve trained their palpatory skills to a very refined level, and I feel privileged to have studied with them.