Director's Greeting

Greeting’s from Takanawa Clinic President,
Yasunari Kageyama

Remote Island Medicine
Encounters with the people of remote Chiottosato Island are the Origin of "Medical Harmony"

The start of my career as a medical professional was as a dentist. When I was young, I had a weak constitution and mental instability, but more and more dedicated myself to self-improvement, and after developing an interest in treatment options such as hypnotherapy, I decided I wanted to become a hypnotherapist. However, at the time that kind of work was very rare, and so when I entered academic counseling, and my academic counselor researched the efficacy of hypnotherapy on glossodynia and dental phobia and considered my life stability, I was pushed toward entering dental school.
Thinking about it now it seems a strange connection, but at the time it felt quite right, and I entered dental school and began making a living as a dentist. After graduating, I did my training in dental anesthesia at the university hospital, specializing in the pain clinic using acupuncture and moxibustion, or traditional Eastern medicine. In addition, we implemented in parallel the use of my long-cherished hypnosis counseling in private facilities.

This was a turning point in my life, at which I developed a strong love of nature, and five years after my graduation I moved to practice medicine in rural areas, going to a remote island inhabited by only 800 people, Chiburijima, in Shimane Prefecture. I was impressed by the very good health status of the people there, who lived in harmony with nature, and my approach to medical care accelerated toward taking a natural direction.

With a strong admiration for nature and the ideas of nature-oriented medical practices, I decided to pursue a natural way of living (Shamanism) and continued into the abyss of Eastern Medicine. Though I wanted to continue living in that area practicing dental medicine and acupuncture with those villagers, I understood the mission of island medical care and entered medical school to pursue a medical degree. It is for this reason that I hold both a medical and dental medicine license.

I realized that if you want to incorporate the basic idea of nature, capturing the whole body, mind, and consciousness of a human, while Western medicine can be seen as essential to the medical institution, you must also include the concepts of Eastern medicine. However, dental and medical training are not together in the university hospital, but are taught and the fields undertaken independently. In thinking about my own personal style, I decided to open a clinic devoted to these ideas and my personal style, and this lead to the opening of the “Takanawa Clinic.”

The important thing is, understanding the patient from every angle

For me and my medical practice, the important thing is not only the treatment of a patient’s disease, but also understanding the whole background of ideas and mental elements of a person, so that as a medical professional I can introduce a pinpointed treatment for the patient’s personal healing. In our clinic we have incorporated the flexibility for using various means of medical care, so that we can offer a lot of different potential treatments, so that we can provide the best care individually to each patient we possibly can.

Because of this we cherish the examination and interview time so as to fully understand each of our patients as individuals. The first time you come to the clinic this may be very difficult, as the first visit may take about two and a half hours, as we take a combined Western and Eastern medical interview, incorporating homeopathy, diagnostic care, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, the flow of Ki within your body, and overall provide an interview you cannot find at other clinics. In so doing we can understand all the various aspects of our patient.

In addition, in our hospital at the first exam we will inspect all a patient’s teeth, as well as use a German medical device known as an EAV to check the mind and body, as well as the state of the mind-body connection, and analyze completely to find out the root of what is causing your problem.

Without condemnation, by understanding deeply the condition of the patient, and to approach health care from that place, is my way of doing things.

Offering patients harmonious medicine

Currently much of medical care is completely devoted to Western medicine, but the problem with Western medicine is that it sees only a finely divided human body, and does not see the cooperative whole of the body. I try not only to capture the problems and connection of the oral cavity and the whole body, but I also try to capture the mind and body and their connection as well.

For example, there is an incurable disease known as palmoplantar pustulosis.

This disease would normally be divided into the fields of dermatology and psychiatry, and the medical approach will concern treating the symptoms as opposed to the root cause, but actually dental fillings can cause this disease. Even as such, in the separated world of Western medicine, the harmonious relationship of dentistry and psychiatry cannot exist. Harmonious medicine lies in creating the horizontal relationships between fields such that in skin disease like palmoplantar pustulosis, the dental root cause may be discovered, and better treatment delivered.

In other words, I think that rather than focus on singular parts of the body, we should see the mouth and the body, and fuse Eastern and Western in order to see the entire mouth and body and create harmonious medicine. In addition, we humans must cherish our “natural healing power.” A person is going to recover based on this “natural healing.” In thinking of Western medicine, the spirit invisible to the body is neglected. But, for a problem with the heart or an illness of the body, caring for symptoms of the mind is the essence of medicine.

This concept of unity is of course to bring together the body and mind side by side, but holding the heart as the foundation of the body is the most important part. In our clinic, we believe that not only the patient’s body, but also their mind is of great importance.

The dream is a hospital like an amusement park

I, Takanawa Clinic President Yasunari Kageyama, feel that a hospital is a field of hospitality, and that entertainment is very neglected. As you know, there is rarely the kind of excitement you would feel from an amusement park in a visit to the hospital. I believe this is because the thinking of a separated body and mind has gone on for far too long. We don’t think that a hospital caring for the body has any need to provide (for the sake of the spirit) entertainment. But, I believe strongly that a strong thinking mind is the foundation of the body, and a hospital entertaining for the spirit should exist, so that we can more humanely treat life as life from beginning to end. In the International Harmonious Medicine Society, of which I serve as director, there has been progress in making this a model hospital. The medical care method of providing entertainment and care for the spirit needs an easy to understand, great result. It is possible that within one hospital, a patient could receive Eastern, Western, and traditional medical care together, and yet, like how English hospitals contain churches, our hospitals could have shrines and temples, hospital meals could be delicious, and other amenities – a spa, shopping, or other entertainment facilities could all be part of a person’s hospital stay.

In order to realize this, we need to change our idea of hospitality and hospitals all the way down to our subconscious. To do so, we need to level up, to have a revolution of our medical education, qualifications, and Eastern and Western medical technology.