AIM Academy Presents <br> Fukushin: Abdominal Palpation in The Kampo Tradition

AIM Academy Presents <br> Fukushin: Abdominal Palpation in The Kampo Tradition

AIM Academy is pleased to welcome Nigel Dawes to Toronto for his 3-Day Fukushin seminar. This course will offer participants an exclusive exploration into the age-old method of Fukushin: Abdominal Palpation and its foundational role in Kampo.

About Fukushin

This workshop will be hands-on and practical with the aim of introducing participants to the basics of abdominal palpation and its role in the Kampo tradition. This exploration will be beneficial to practicing herbalists, but anyone with experience and background in East Asian Medicine will also learn a great deal from the information shared and practice done.

The abdomen represents the body's anatomical center, housing as it does the vital organs as well as forming its myofascial and structural core. In Asian systems of medicine, it is also the source of vital energy acting as a crucible for the mutual transmutation of acquired and pre-natal essence. It also represents a metaphysical cauldron in which the vital organs play a pivotal role, each acting as repository and catalyst for specific manifestations at the psychic and emotional level.

Throughout the history and development of Traditional Asian Medical systems the abdomen has thus occupied a pivotal role in both diagnostic and treatment paradigms. In more recent times however, its significance in the clinic has dwindled and many practitioners, especially in modern China, rarely use it in practice. This has not been the case in Japan where, from the Edo Period in particular, Acupuncturists as well as Kampo and Shiatsu practitoners have each developed highly sophisticated methods of using the abdomen in assessment and practice.

One such traditional method is that employed by modern herbalists (mostly MD’s) in Japan who use a detailed and highly specific form of abdominal palpation to obtain information which strongly influences the selection of herbal prescription.

This workshop will present one of these methods of abdominal palpation currently practiced within the Kampo tradition as developed by Otsuka Yoshinori during the last century. Each abdominal conformation will be presented and discussed from the perspective of practical herbal prescribing. A strong practical component will ensure that the participants leave the workshop with a firm grasp of the basics of how to obtain and interpret these abdominal findings.


This workshop will essentially be hands-on and very practical with the aim of introducing participants to the basics of abdominal palpation in the Kampo tradition. It will primarily be of interest to practicing herbalists but anyone with experience and background in East Asian Medicine will find the information and practice highly useful.

Day 1 of the workshop will be devoted to a detailed powerpoint slide presentation forming the basis for the Day 2 demonstration and practice session in which participants will both observe the methodology of the palpatory exam and have a chance to practice it themselves with correction. A detailed clinical workup will be done using Fukushin on volunteer participants from the group in order to demonstrate direct clinical application. There will be ample opportunity for pairwork practice. Day 3 will begin with a review of both the technique of the exam as well as the interpretation of clinical findings. The rest of the day will be devoted to clinical work with outside patients invited in for assessment and treatment.


This course is for anyone with a solid foundation in Eastern Medicine such as; TCMPs, Naturopaths, Western Herbalists, and anyone interested in and learning about abdominal palpation and traditional Japanese Herbalism. 

Please note that this seminar is a part of a future series of the Kampo Tradition. This seminar is a spectacular introduction to anyone interested in the therapeutic tradition.

Instructor: Nigel Dawes, M.A. (Cantab.), B.Ac.C., R.C.H.M., N.C.C.A.O.M., L.Ac.

Nigel Dawes

Nigel is an internationally renowned teacher and author who has been practicing East Asian Medicine for over 35 years. He has been based in New York for the past 25 years where he runs a private practice in Acupuncture, Shiatsu and Kampo (Sino-Japanese Herbal Medicine).

 Educational activities have included founding and directing his own Shiatsu school in London in the late 1980's, 8 years as Dean at an accredited school of Oriental Medicine in NY after his arrival in the US in 1993, and various educational board and committee appointments within the profession at a national level as well as senior faculty appointments at NYC schools of East Asian Medicine.

 More recently he founded the NYC Kampo Institute offering seminars and programs in Traditional Japanese Medicine at the post graduate level, in particular the Kampo Internship program, a 300-hour apprenticeship-style post-graduate training in Sino-Japanese herbal Medicine. This program is offered nationally throughout the US and internationally including in Portugal, Israel, Canada and Australia.

 He is well-known nationally and internationally for his work on Fukushin - abdominal diagnosis and application in clinical practice – and has just finished a book on the subject: Fukushin and Kampo, Singing Dragon, 2020. His other publications have included numerous peer reviewed journal articles in the field of East Asian Medicine as well as research papers in medical journals on HIV and Aids treatment with Acupuncture. He is author of 3 other books, the most recent of which is a translation of the modern Japanese classic: Kampo: A Clinical Guide to Theory and Practice, Churchill Livingstone, 2010. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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