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Our Mission


The North American Journal of Oriental Medicine (NAJOM) is a non-profit worldwide forum for the promotion and development of Japanese approaches to Oriental medicine. Our goal is to facilitate networking among practitioners and inspire them to deepen their knowledge and refine their skills.


How NAJOM carries out its mission

We publish both paper and PDF versions of the journal, with all articles available in both English and Japanese. As an international and multi-disciplinary publication, NAJOM does not uphold a particular approach or viewpoint, but our aim is to foster the growth and refinement of Oriental medicine grounded in skilled touch. With due respect for all traditions and perspectives of Oriental medicine, NAJOM pursues this aim by highlighting the theories and practices of traditional Japanese medicine, including Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion, kampo (herbology), shiatsu, anma, and do-in, which emphasize the vital role of touch in healing.
Having developed over more than a thousand years, traditional Japanese medicine is an amalgamation of numerous approaches, innovations, and interpretations. Now practiced around the world, it continues to evolve to suit the unique environment and needs of each region. NAJOM seeks to contribute to the development of Oriental medicine in North America by making more information available on traditional Japanese practices and how they are being applied today.

July 2023 Issue Editorial

Surprising Cases: Is There Anything New Under the Sun?

After 2,000 years you’d think that little in the practice of acumoxa could surprise us. But read on as your fellow practitioners
respond to this issue’s theme, “Surprising Case Studies,” most of them successful. Moxafrica’s Merlin Young recalls the day
that the application of heat (one tiny rice grain of moxa) to one point (ST-36) returned a TB patient from the brink of death.
Ikai Yoshio details how he has revived the little-used practice of inserting a needle into the orbit of the eye to reduce the
severity of glaucoma and other intractable eye diseases. Thomas Wernicke applies the gentle touch of shonishin to “thaw”
children frozen by recent global tragedies – the Kobe earthquake, the Fukushima nuclear accident and the war in Ukraine.


Not all of our surprising cases this issue are so extreme: most actually address stuff that happens to people everywhere all
the time. Back pain, cold symptoms, digestive issues. All you need is your bare hands, some moxa (which you can grow
yourself), some very fine needles – and you will be gobsmacked by the results.


That there is so much to surprise us when our tools and protocols are so old and ridiculously simple is testament to the depth
of these traditions, so far from being fully explored. Old is not stale, and this issue reveals how our contributors are nudging
the classics in new directions. This is just one of the great values of masterfully written case studies.


As our teachers constantly remind us, case studies are a necessity, a pillar, of our profession: they provide us with a record
demonstrating (to others and to ourselves) that our ancient medicine works, and how it works, with real patients, in real
situations. They are an invaluable teaching tool, offering step-by-step instructions, measurable outcomes, and an obligation
to reflect: what can we do better next time? More intangibly, through case studies, we feel an affinity with the struggling
patient, and the struggling practitioner.


Let this be a reminder, in our day-to-day work, to ask more questions, take good notes, and do a little extra research, so we
can share our results with one another and thus continue to cultivate a great treasury of “surprising” case studies.


In aid of this, going forward we will be giving you more advance notice of upcoming themes so that you and we, the editorial
crew, can better prepare. Please consider our November 2023 (Issue 89) theme, “The Teishin: powerful, gentle, versatile.”
Teachers and practitioners, we look forward to hearing your case studies and theoretical discussions highlighting the ancient
tool that is making great waves in our modern world. (Deadline for submissions is September 1, 2023). Don’t hesitate to
make enquiries earlier.


We are also delighted to announce that some familiar contributors, Bob Quinn, Jeffrey Dann, and Rumiko Kanesaka, have
offered to take on larger roles on NAJOM’s editorial/production team. Our gratitude goes to everyone who contributes to
keeping NAJOM’s mission alive.


Best regards,
Cheryl Coull, editor

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