Integrating Japanese Eastern medicine with Western medicine.

Shoulder stiffness is a symptom caused by various factors such as stress and poor posture in modern society. However, in the case of one patient, it became clear that the cause of shoulder stiffness was related not only to the body but also to the state of mind.

The patient who visited the clinic had suffered from severe shoulder stiffness for 8 years and had been struggling without improvement despite trying massages and poultices. When the patient’s pulse was examined, abnormalities in the lungs were found.

Listening to the patient’s story, it was revealed that 8 years ago, she experienced intense grief due to the death of their grandfather, causing her to breathe shallowly using her shoulders. This shallow breathing caused tension in the muscles around the shoulders, leading to shoulder stiffness. In Oriental medicine, grief is believed to have a negative impact on the lungs and can also cause asthma and constipation, among other issues. From a holistic perspective, it was felt that the treatment of this patient’s shoulder stiffness required not only the removal of symptoms but also care for the mind.


To relieve shoulder stiffness, Dr. Kanako was used to relax the muscles around the shoulders and enhance lung function and used some herbal treatment.

This case illustrates that shoulder stiffness can be influenced not only by the body and daily activities but also by the state of mind. When treating shoulder stiffness, it is important to address not only the symptoms and the body but also the patient’s mental state behind them, which can have a more effective impact on the patient’s health.

Dr. Kanako Morino:

She is an NYS certified acupuncturist and an NCCAOM National Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist. She holds a doctorate in acupuncture and Chinese medicine from Pacific Health Sciences University and advocates that all disease arises from internal disharmony and focuses on the cause of the disease, not the symptoms. She is also a certified health coach and spiritual master with the National Association of Drugless Vendors, and has in-depth knowledge of diet, herbs, and Chinese medicine.

If you are interested in acupuncture with Dr. Kanako, check it out her Instagram: nourishing_life_eastern_med