Acupuncture Kung Fu – Developing Hand Skill

Making a Practice Pad

When I was in acupuncture school (in the late 80’s and early 90’s), little emphasis was placed on developing “hand skill” i.e. improving needling skill. I hope that has changed, but it probably hasn’t. It wasn’t until I met Dr. Naiming Chen, head of the acupuncture department of the Shandong provincial hospital, that I was seriously introduced to the development of “hand skill”.

It is a common concept in China that practicing something, even something simple, for a long time will develop a special skill. In fact they have a name for a special skill developed over time. It is called “gong fu” (the old Wade-Giles romanization is kung fu).

This post is to introduce a simple practice method that Dr. Naiming Chen taught me that will develop basic “hand skill”.

 Practice Pad Construction

You’ll need;

a roll of toilet paper


masking tape

a needle for practice

Step 1; Remove the cardboard core of the toilet paper. Use scissors to cut along the length of the tube of cardboard in the center of the toilet paper. Carefully pull the cardboard away from the toilet paper roll so that a minimum amount of paper is pulled out when the cardboard is removed.

Step 2; Flatten and tape the toilet paper. Press the toilet paper flat to remove the space in the middle of it. Use masking tape to hold it flat. Also place masking tape along the exposed ends of the toilet paper to keep it from fraying. Your practice pad is now ready to use!

Below is the video showing you how and here is the article on using the practice pad. And you can watch the video on using the practice pad on the Ashi Acupuncture youtube channel here.