About -

Japanese Meridian Therapy

Japanese Meridian Therapy is a unique style of acupuncture based on the Chinese Classics. Developed by blind acupuncturists in Japan in the 1700’s, it relies on a highly refined sensitivity to Ki energy, making use of non-insertive and “touch” needling techniques. Diagnosis is made primarily from presenting signs in the pulse and abdomen, and along the meridians of the arms and legs.

The root of these treatments is in working to balance the five elements and their corresponding organ systems. By tonification of the main deficiencies and removing blockages in the flow of Ki within the body, the whole person is balanced and strengthened. The idea is that by first applying treatment to the entire person any symptom will be more likely to be alleviated and not return. When Ki flows freely through the meridians, the body is balanced and healthy, but when the energy becomes blocked, stagnated or weakened, it can result in pain and illness.

John Handwerk,
Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Bio - John Handwerk, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Dr. John Handwerk specializes in a gentle style of acupuncture called Japanese Meridian Therapy. A graduate of the International Institute of Chinese Medicine, Santa Fe in 2004, he first started his studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Dr. Shi Cun Wu in Chicago in 1995.
His interest in Japanese Meridian Therapy began in 2002 while studying Hari with T. Koei Kuwahara and continues by assisting and teaching at Hari workshops and running practice groups, as well as studying with senior teachers in Japan. In 2006 he was director of  the Community Acupuncture Project in Santa Fe, which offered free and low cost treatments. He uses Chinese Herbology and Food Therapy to help the body support treatments. The root of his training comes from 12 years of Tai Chi and Qigong practice and includes SourcePoint Therapy and other energy based medicines.
My main modality is acupuncture, specifically Japanese Meridian Therapy. I am able to give treatments with or without needles depending on the sensitivity of the client and their comfort level concerning needles. I am also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, use Cupping, Bloodletting, Moxabustion, and Tui Na massage, and have the ability to work very deeply if needed.
I incorporate Chinese Herbology along with western herbs and nutritional supplements, as well as food therapy. I provide education in home therapy practices including self-massage, qigong exercises, and moxibustion. I believe that self-care practices are an essential part of a patients healing.

Oriental Medicine works with the spiritual, emotional and physical levels of the body in order to bring balance and wholeness to ones being. Helping people to improve their connection to the Divine and Universal Energies brings harmony and flow to their lives; from this balance, all types of healing are possible.

Traditional  Japanese Acupuncture is particularly suited to those who are uncomfortable with strong needle stimulus.

Hand crafted silver needles and other tools are touched to points using gentle techniques, rather than strong stimulation all the patient usually feels is deep and profound relaxation. When needles are retained, they are placed at a very shallow depth and left in a much shorter time than most typical acupuncture treatments. These light techniques are one of the main differences between Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture.

Services -

Effective treatments in a healing environment.

Japanese Acupuncture

Acupuncture emerged in Japan after the introduction of classical Chinese medical texts in the 5th century. Many unique theories and techniques emerged. Developments by blind acupuncturists in the 17th century led to a refinement of tools and techniques due to their greater sensitivity. Today in modern Japan there are groups like the Ki Shin Po, who’s continuous research of technique and theory have continued to improve the way acupuncture is practiced. Japanese acupuncture has taken on characteristics that make it different from the Chinese style including a strong emphasis on palpatory diagnosis, live-point location, focus on root treatment, contact needling, and direct moxabustion

Shonishin Pediatrics

A specialized form of acupuncture for children that consists of stroking areas on the child’s trunk and limbs with special tools. These are mostly blunt, some look like little rakes, and are used to lightly scratch the surface of the skin without penetrating. On my visit to Masanori Tanioka’s office in Osaka Japan, I saw many families of children lining up, excited for treatment. Needles are typically only inserted on children 10 years and older.

SourcePoint™ Therapy

The intention of SourcePoint™ Therapy is to re-connect the individual with the energetic blueprint of health, the matrix of healing energy containing the information of order, balance, harmony and flow that sustains all life. SourcePoint Therapy training gives practitioners a thorough grounding in the theoretical foundation of the approach, exploring the concept of the blueprint from the perspective of many healing, philosophical and spiritual traditions.

Root Treatment

Root treatment is first applied to balance and strengthen the whole person, followed by a branch treatment to address a specific complaint. The idea is that by always applying treatment to the entire person, any symptom will be more likely to be alleviated and not return. If the branch is treated but not the root, the symptom may be alleviated but a deeper more a fundamental type of healing will not be achieved.

Direct Moxibustion

With this popular folk remedy a small amount of mugwort is burned directly on an acupuncture point. This herb is dried and ground up, then is rolled the size of a sesame seed and placed on the body with a small amount of ointment. A pad of ashes develops to protect the skin as a deep comfortable warmth begins to radiate from the point. The heat and far-infrared color temperature draw increased circulation to the area, releasing knots or trigger points in the fascia and muscles below. Studies have found moxabustion to raise red and white blood cell counts, as well as platelets. It has been traditionally used preventatively to boost resistance to disease and increased longevity.


Sotai works with the basic structure of the human body and its natural capacity to move and maintain balance. Sotai Therapy is a systematic method for introducing easeful movements from the extremities to the spine to facilitate a functional balance. A method of neuromuscular reeducation and unwinding muscular holding patterns, its central principle is backtracking movement or “reverse-motion” treatment. The idea is that structural distortions can be returned to a more normal condition by moving the body in the comfortable direction. Using the effects of an isometric contraction followed by a sudden relaxation (post-isometric relaxation) can normalize the strained condition. -Wikipedia

Contact Details

2019 Galisteo St Suite G-2
Santa Fe, NM 87505