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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.

March 2024 Issue Editorial

NAJOM Keeps on Growing
by Cheryl Coull

NAJOM. The North American Journal of Oriental Medicine. Almost 5 million words (in the English half, so double it for the
Japanese). 3,911 pages (in the English half). 2,007 articles. 90 issues. All in all equal in length to 10 of the world’s longest novels. But this is not fiction.

It is a living repository of the theory and practices that together define (and redefine in astonishing ways) traditional Japanese
medicine from its hazy beginnings to the present. Millions and millions of words, written by or about individuals who embody the title “master,” and their students, some of whom are masters now too: Manaka Yoshio, Shudo Denmei, Ikeda Masakazu, Kobayashi Shoji, Fukushima Tetsuya, Murata Morihiro, Stephen Birch, Felip Caudet, Merlin Young, Mizutani Junji, Stephen Brown, Tetsuro Saito, Dr Bear, Funamizu Takahiro, Takahashi Hideo, Bob Quinn, Jeffrey Dann, to name a few, and leaving out so many.

Millions of words, each one placed as deliberately as an acupuncture needle. Care and precision are inherent in both the practice, and the articulation of our medicine.

In 30 years, have we said all we need to say?

In issue 1, March 1994, Mizutani Junji eloquently described the starry night he spent in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains 17 years prior, watching the sky and envisioning NAJOM. Of all 90 issues, this is still my favorite. We’ve tweaked the cover design and increased the page count, but NAJOM’s essential character was defined then, and still remains.
Mizutani Sensei’s dream, to balance the yin and yang of geography (east, west, north, and south) so that we can together better balance the human body, has manifested in an open, structured (but not too much), enduring, bilingual English-Japanese – yet very international – conversation.

We have published issues focusing on treatments for chronic pain, diabetes, memory loss, and on treatments specific to childbirth, childhood, and aging. We have an entire issue describing in immaculate detail the most ancient and modern tools of our trade (another favorite of mine). We have gone so far as to task you, our dauntless contributors, with defining our field –

“What is TJM?” This has become a never-ending theme, running through all our issues, so that NAJOM now possesses what must be the world’s (or at least the West’s) most exhaustive encapsulation of Japanese-inspired schools of thought, influential teachers, and approaches, reaching as far back as history goes, to the present, and written by those who know it best. And, all of this – your ideas, clinical experience, and research – is preserved in NAJOM for future generations.


There is no other journal like this – for breadth, depth, or quality. If not for you, this accessible collection of information would not exist. It is also likely that certain trends, even “revolutions” in our field – the “gentle-fication” of acupuncture and moxibustion, the globalization of moxibustion, the revival of kampo, a return to needle-free therapies such as sotai and shiatsu, and the “teishin revolution” – wouldn’t exist if you weren’t writing about them.


This brings us to the mechanism that makes this dissemination of information and ideas possible. NAJOM from its inception has been a grassroots movement – envisioned almost half a century ago by a few, then carried around the planet and into the future by many more.

Unhampered by the restrictions placed upon academic journals, NAJOM gives free rein to passion (over prestige). Our accuracy is enforced by the confluence of multiple voices (teachers, practitioners, and even academics) on shared topics. Our meagre budget is supported by donations, low membership fees, and a lot of volunteerism.


Though NAJOM cannot possibly print a fatter journal, it continues to expand: it sits at the intersection of more than a dozen other grassroots societies (see and last year hosted its first annual seminar series in Vancouver, Canada, drawing teachers and practitioners from near and far.

Can we say that after 30 years we have said it all? Not even close.
NAJOM Number 90 just scratches the surface of a discussion on meridians – which, whether they exist as solid entities or not – are central to our work. I recommend you start at the beginning with Katai Shuichi’s fascinating historical discussion of meridians and collaterals.

Please consider contributing to NAJOM Number 91, the first issue of our next decade. Our subject: What is an acu/moxa point? Try to include some discussion of what you think a treatment point is or isn’t. Do they relate to the meridians we have just talked about? Of course, you can include classical points and variations on them, as well as points you have discovered yourself. How do you use them in treatments? (Deadline: May 1, 2024, but send your proposals now). For details, check our website and emailed announcements. And also, please follow our NAJOM style guide to save us a bit of work.


NAJOM articles never go out of date. If you wish to explore back issues you don’t have, find individual articles, compilations, or the entire 30 years reasonably priced at the NAJOM website under “Shop".

We are so happy to have you with us!

The NAJOM Team

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