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Get the Rythm

(using tapping techniques on meridians)


Date Time Course Costs Iokai Alumni Costs other participants NAP
22 April 2023 10h – 17 Get the Rythm € 100,- € 125,- 7


Get the Rythm

By: Steve Birch

As body workers we are always looking for ways to help relax and balance the musculature of the patient. In some patients this is more difficult to do than in others. This workshop will teach simple techniques developed by a master Japanese acupuncturist that you can use to enhance your effectiveness in adjusting patient musculature and could even offer the possibility of giving the patient a simple tool they can use at home. Using a simple timed tapping on acupoints can profoundly affect the meridians and associated musculature, this is the primary method covered in the workshop.

The well-known Japanese physician acupuncturist Yoshio Manaka developed comprehensive treatment systems. Within his overall treatment system he developed a simple treatment that can be used in the clinic and by patients at home. In the 16th century a specialised acupuncture like method developed where thick needles were tapped on the surface of the body with a light wooden mallet, instead of the usual insertion of thinner needles. Imitating this, Manaka developed the Manaka Wooden Hammer and Needle, which allows tapping of reactive, stiff points with a small wooden dowel using a light well-weighted wooden hammer. At first he used it in his practice instead of needles. Then he wrote articles in popular health magazines explaining how patients and family members can treat themselves or each other using the tool. In 1986 amidst his studies and explorations of the meridian system, Manaka started testing them to see if each meridian might respond to a particular frequency. This led to discovering that each meridian is sensitive to a particular frequency using a metronome (in the range of 104-176 beats per minute). He used this in a number of different ways, but key among them was to adjust the rate of tapping with the wooden hammer and needle according to the meridian that was being worked on. This clearly improved the degrees of change that could be made. To use this treatment tool you need the tool and a metronome (which can be accessed as an app on one’s phone. This is quite suitable for massage therapists as an extra tool for their practice. This workshop will explain how and where to use the Manaka Wooden Hammer and Needle using a metronome to enhance the effects. It will also teach the location of a number of key acupuncture points that can be very helpful foci for treatment using this method.

While examining and testing the meridian system to seek a deeper understanding of it, Manaka also explored the system called ‘jing jin’ or channel sinews, also known as the ‘tendino-muscular meridians.’ It was proposed that in addition to each of the twelve meridian there were associated muscular-like structural pathways or zones of influence (the early Chinese literature is not completely clear). Exploring these ideas Manaka found that certain stretches of a meridian seem to influence not only the ‘channel sinew’ but also can help improve the condition of the associated meridian. He developed a treatment method using moxa at reactive points along the stretched meridian for this. When he had figured out the meridian frequencies he started routinely tapping the reactive points along the stretched meridians and found this was also very good to improve the condition of the meridian and release tight muscular tissues. This workshop will also teach how to stretch the meridians and where are good points for tapping with the Manaka Wooden Hammer and Needle.

This will be a very practical workshop. The wooden hammer and needle is not expensive and readily available. Metronomes are available on your phone as an app. Once you have assimilated these methods you can immediately start incorporating them into your practice.

About Stephen Birch

Stephen Birch has practised acupuncture since 1982, focusing on Japanese acupuncture methods. He practices near the Overtoom in Amsterdam with his wife Junko Ida. He has written 8 books on acupuncture, focusing on Japanese acupuncture, written many articles and lectures in many countries (Holland, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, France, Poland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Brasil, Chile). He has taught practical workshops for Yokai before.

For whom

This master class is open to graduated shiatsu therapists and acupuncturists from all courses.

Date and times

Saturday April 22 from 10.00h – 17.00h


The location will be communicated at a later stage but will be in Amsterdam.

Maximum number of participants

A maximum of 24 people can participate in this post-graduate training.


The cost per workshop is €100 for Iokai Alumni members and €135 for other participants.