Needles, needles and more needles.

Acupuncture, oh my!

Tokyo Front

Recently, my running friend mentioned acupuncture helped her knee pain. Then another friend tried it for her glute/hamstring pain, another for plantar fascitis. And then an article in one of my favorite magazines popped up on acupuncture.

Like many of you, I have heard of acupuncture and known it is all about needles but I wanted to find out more. Onto to the research then…   Since moving here to Okinawa wonderland, I’ve been interested in more eastern leaning therapies. I tried acupuncture once way, way back for some forgotten pain and I guess it worked. I forgot about the pain, right?

Although I don’t have any specific pain, one article I read on website caught my eye: an Alternative to Botox. What?!

This newer procedure spoke, no, screamed attention, to my vain inner self. Poke me with a few needles and wrinkles disappear? This is not quite the claim of facial acupuncture, but after a series of 10 – 12 sessions, it will help soften wrinkles.

I contacted my friends and found the acupuncturist for me at Tokyo Acupuncture.

What makes Urasaki-san at Tokyo Acupuncturist the acupuncturist for me? He speaks English well. This is vital for me in any type of sticking-needles-into-my-body sort of fashion. He has been doing this for 16 years, too. I called him up on Monday morning and set up my first appointment for Wednesday afternoon.

After arriving, Urasaski san asked me why I was there, if there was any pain I was experiencing. I explained that I was there in for facial acupuncture and also that my lower back was a little tight.  After filling out a short informational sheet with name and such, I lay down and he began to swab alcohol on certain points on my hands. Then, he went on to insert 24 needles into various points in my body around the hands, elbows, feet and knees, all starting with the alcohol swab. He was also sure to show me he uses only new needles. The sensation was a bit painful in some places, like near my ring toe on my left foot. Other places, it didn’t hurt at all.

Now onto my face and the main reason I was there. For wrinkles and relaxation, needles are inserted into the face. According to Chinese medicine, we have meridians that run through the body. The needle helps release blocked chi or qi and help energy flow.  He inserted needles around my laugh lines (I really need to smile and laugh less) and a few around my forehead. I don’t yet have pronounced mommy worry lines (maybe because my kids are still toddlers-give me about 10 more years and check back) so not many in that area.

Then, relax. Easy.

After a short amount of time, he came and took out all the needles and massaged my face. If you’ve ever had a facial, it is nothing like that at all. It was more like holding your fingers on a certain area until it relaxed and felt very nice. Last step, he had me check in the mirror and I admit, it did soften my lines. Was it due to the irritation of getting pricked with many needles? Perhaps, but I liked it.

Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday thru Saturday

Phone: 098 939-8551

Directions: Drive out Kadena Gate 2. Go through the Koza intersection. Pass the police station and the first traffic light. At the second light, turn left. Turn right at the 6th intersection. It will have a yellow flashing caution light hanging in the middle of the road. Almost immediately, on your left you will see a red sign that has Tokyo written in cursive. The rest of the sign is in kanji. Immediately past that sign is the acupuncture clinic. The sign will read in English, “lower back, pain massage, acupuncture.”

Parking: Under the clinic. Take the stairs that lead up to the office.

Tokyo Stairs


  1. I initally came to Dr. Urasaki-San for relief from my severe migraines, which are now the most infrequent and least painful they’ve ever been; however, during my first treatment he asked if we were trying to get pregnant. I was shocked. We had been for almost 2 years, with no luck. He said my hormones were too imbalanced for me to become pregnant, but that he could help. After 3-4 months of treatment , we’re expecting our first baby! And I still continue to come, because it has just been a wonderful experience! I highly recommend this place!!

  2. Dr. Urasaki-san continues his great treatments but the price has increased. 4500 Yen for the first visit which included consultation, acupuncture, acupressure and a chiropractic adjustment. Future visits are now set at 3500 Yen.

  3. My wife and I went there and we LOVED it! It is inexpensive and it is really easy to find. We did a little video about it which shows us driving to the place and a little inside. We didn’t get any of Dr. Urasaki, but he is a very nice gentleman. He does his best to help and his english is pretty good. Be sure to wear some modest, but comfortable clothes and take your shoes off at the door. During one of our sessions, I asked him about his schooling, where he was from, etc… He is from Okinawa and he went to school for this in Tokyo for four years. The inside of his office is relaxing and it makes me want to go back again and again! I admit, I was a westerner with the skeptical mentality of “this is just pointless voodoo mumbo jumbo” but after one visit… one which lead to more…. I am a convert to acupuncture. He also generally gives an acupressure massage at the end, over the clothes AND over a towel. To me, that is the best part.

    Here’s our video, if you want to see what all is on the street and how to get there.

    • Hi Katrina! I study Chinese Medicine. I cannot speak for this clinic, but we have successfully used herbs and acupuncture on patients in the clinic I studied at in San Diego. Every woman is different, but I have witnessed success stories and its a harmless procedure thats definately worth a try! Good luck!

  4. Just another Urasaki-san fan here. My husband and I have been seeing him for some time now, on a regular basis for some chronic pain issues. He works wonders. He’s an intuitive healer who listens and knows how to comfort his patients.

    He just did a remodel a little while ago and the office is simply gorgeous and refreshing. His prices have remained the same. I look forward to talking with him almost as much as the results of the pins!

  5. HI! I went to Tokyo Acupuncture today for hip pain that has been ongoing for 3 years-doctors keeping giving me Motrin and tell me to stop running. Urasaki-san, who speaks great English, showed me that my legs were misaligned and my hips were off kilter. It was amazing! The needles were not uncomfortable or painful-just odd going in and removing them. My legs are completely aligned in one appointment. He is a chiropractor as well. I would definitely recommend his service. 4000 yen for the first appt, 3000 for each subsequent appt.

  6. I have been experiencing chronic knee pain for the last several years especially the more active I am. I have been to physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and have seen ortho but of course the same old R.I.C.E treatment nothing is wrong just R.I.C.E. and take motrin method wasn’t cutting it anymore. My friend who is a local and athlete referred me to this place across the street from Climax Coffee by the seawall. If your back is facing the Climax it is directly across the street. On the second floor you will see a blue, black, and white sign with a body and the spine crocked. At first glanced it looks like a chiropractor. It’s not it is an acupuncture and massage place. Their english is minimal but taking my friend who could translate was helpful in getting me treatment. No appointments are needed they have lots of staff on hand to assist. I was able to get a 30 min massage for Y2340 and acupuncture for Y1000. I have been there several times in the last six months and have had a very pleasurable experience. I just walk in and show them where I’m hurting and they handle the rest. I walk out of there on clouds. I can’t explain it. For the first visit I would take a friend to translate. Once they have a history and an idea of what you are there for its no sweat. They are all very friendly there. They are open every day 9am-1pm and 3pm-8pm.