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History of Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) of Acupuncture
Master Kiyoshi Nagano
In the post-war Japan, Master Acupuncturist Kiyoshi Nagano began a remarkable and fruitful
investigation. Despite being blind, Nagano memorized Chinese canonical literature and developed a
unique and ingenious theoretical and clinical approach that incorporated the classical concepts and
emergent insight from Western medicine. His ideas and methods did not follow an established group,
which brought a certain stigma in Japanese acupuncture circles. Being mentally robust, he was proud
of his "lone wolf" status. Over the next half a century - using his extraordinary palpation and pulse
diagnostic skills as a guide - he crafted ingenious acupuncture protocols fro all types of conditions. He
also became a mentor to two very important Japanese acupuncture teachers of our time:  Kiiko
Matsumoto (now in the US) and Tsuyoshi Shimamura (practicing in Japan). Master Nagano passed
away in 2003.

Apprenticeship
In Japan, a practitioner learns the medicine through experience. For hundreds of years students
would learn this medicine through direct observation of a teacher in their clinic. In 1945 some of the
first acupuncture schools began to emerge and students were formally taught in classrooms - this is
sometimes referred to as the "Americanization of Acupuncture". These students however, were
required then, and still are today, to spend many hours following Master Acupuncturist in clinics.

All students of acupuncture in Japan commit hundreds of hours, observing thousands of treatments in
their teacher's clinics. This allows ample opportunity to learn every detail of the Mater's style and ask
questions. This type of apprenticeship is taken very seriously and is still an essential part of the
acupuncture training culture in Japan.

While in the West, someone may ask; "which school did you attend for your acupuncture training?", in
Japan, the question is always "who is your teacher?". Only those who have dedicated the time to
following the Master Acupuncturist in their clinic can claim that he/she is "their teacher" and truly
represent that Master's style of practice.

"Nagano Style" Instructors
You may find acupuncturist outside of Japan, including the US, claim that they "follow Master Nagano"
or that they are teaching his style. Their knowledge of his practice is limited to the information
gathered through texts (as he did not have any non-Japanese apprentices) and therefore leaves a lot
of room for misinterpretation.

In order to preserve his lineage, methods of diagnosing and treatments, Master Nagano gave his
written permission to Kiiko Matsumoto to teach his style here in the West.


KMS acupuncture instructors
There are many people that offer instructions or comments on KMS acupuncture. They have varies
degrees of understanding of her techniques and clinical approaches. In order to preserve a valid
representation of this style as well as the legend of Master Nagano, Kiiko Matsumoto has the following
criteria for instructors of KMS acupuncture

  • someone who has practiced KMS acupuncture for a length of time
  • someone who has apprenticed with Kiiko Matsumoto in her practice and closely observed her
    techniques
  • someone who is constantly taking classes with her and expanding their knowledge
  • someone who has a clear understanding of the material both past and present
  • someone who has personally been approved by Kiiko Matsumoto to teach the material

    KMS acupuncture instructors must meet all of the above listed criteria. The following
    list of practitioners have been approved by Kiiko Matsumoto and qualify based on the
    above listed requirements.