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Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) utilizes a highly developed system of palpation to evaluate, diagnose and assess the effectiveness of a proposed treatment. The foundation of KMS is diagnosis and assessment through abdominal palpation. 

Having personally studied with Kiiko Matsumoto for 15 years has afforded me the rare privilege to learn from and study with the founder and master of Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) acupuncture. Kiiko has also allowed me to teach foundation classes at Five Branches University. It has been my honor and pleasure to apply those skills to addresse my patient’s health issues from several levels and to introduce my students to KMS Acupuncture.

Hara means abdomen in Japanese. Hara Diagnosis uses palpation of the abdomen to determine any patterns of disharmony that may exist in the organ systems. In Western Medicine, your doctor palpates the abdomen for tenderness, masses or other abnormalities in the local area. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese Acupuncture, we palpate to diagnosis and to achieve instant feedback regarding your treatment.


The abdomen is the most important area of the human body, because it is the energetic, digestive and physical center, and at the middle of all of this is the navel. The navel is the root of every person, because we were all connected to our mothers through our navel via the umbilical cord and everything that we needed to survive and grow: oxygen, nourishment, etc. was provided through our abdomen. It can be said that we developed and grew from the belly outward. Therefore the belly or Hara (in Japanese) reflects every aspect of our energetics and physiology and is thus an accurate measure of our health status.


A KMS practitioner uses palpation to create a sort of map that indicates the individual's areas of strength, weakness and energetic blocks. These are then evaluated against the patients main complaint to determine the most effective treatment strategy. The advantage of using palpation is that both the practitioner and patient are aware when an area being evaluated is uncomfortable and when it is cleared by treatment.


Treatments are gentle, precise and clinically effective. 

The Japanese in fact, have developed their own style and many would distinguish it as one that emphasizes a more subtle needle technique, one that does not cause sensation for the patient. As my teacher Kiiko explains to me; “If a patient has pain, do not cause them any more pain.”


By looking more deeply into the structural and or constitutional imbalances, which often underlie a patient’s symptomatic complaints, using KMS acupuncture, I am able to provide a more complete and lasting healing for the patients in my care. It is precisely this holistic approach which gives me the ability to help my patients with some of the most complex issues.