Acupuncture has been practiced in Japan for approximately 14 centuries. It places emphasis on the use of palpation (touch) before needle placement. Japanese acupuncturists do not prescribe herbs.

Historically in Japan, acupuncture was a profession for the blind. In the 1680’s a blind acupuncturist named Waichi Sugiyama developed the first insertion tube (shinkan) which allowed a more painless insertion. Waichi established the first acupuncturist school for the blind and began the trend of a simpler, more pragmatic approach to acupuncture. The Japanese de-emphasized theory and stressed the importance of correct point location and palpation of tender points.