Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The "Micro" Teishin

The Micro Teishin (right)
Often, I have my own bias towards heavier weight acupuncture tools.  I think it comes from our innate misunderstanding and insecurity to believe that more is better.  When we see that a heavier gold teishin is much more expensive, without thought, we believe that it must be better.  The opposite may be true.  Recently, a toyohari practitioner asked me to make him a very small teishin 1 mm diameter by 57 mm long with a very small round ball end a subtle tapered blunt end on the other.  It is a joy to work with practitioners that know what they want and why they want it that way.  From their need creates the necessity and expands my own thinking about the tools and how they are used.  In these instances I am not the designer and become merely a craftsman for the execution of that design.    Often the problem solving that comes with these new designs is reward in itself.  In this instance, the challenge is creating a uniform and precise ball end on such a small diameter wire that wants to bend away from each file stroke.  I must admit the first 5 attempts were failures, but I am excited that, after a bit of practice, I can produce them consistently.  The gold teishin in the above picture, left is a fairly standard, although heavy, 14 gage (1.75mm) by 3" size.  The center teishin is sterling silver 16 gage (1.25mm) by 58mm long.  Finally, the "micro" teishin on the right is 18 gage (1.0mm) by 57mm long in 18k royal yellow gold.  I consider both the silver and gold teishin to be in the "micro" category.  The silver teishin needs to be made slightly heavier to compensate for the lighter weight and decreased rigidity inherent to silver tools.  By dropping the weight of the teishin, we gain precision, delicacy, and specificity.  The small diameter also facilitates a consolidated oshide which is crucial for optimum tonification.  All this at a lower price point that will make owning a gold teishin within the grasp of many beginning practitioners.

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