About Vital Directions

tom-hurrleThomas J. Hurrle

I first studied Oriental healing techniques in 1972 with the Macrobiotic teacher Michio Kushi. These studies included dietary therapy and Shiatsu massage, which I have practiced and taught since that time. My studies have also included Hatha Yoga, Zen Yoga, Transcendental meditation, Shambala meditation, Qigong, Xing Yi and Ba Gua. I studied the last three with Wai Lun Choi in Chicago for 6 years. Recently I have the good fortune to study Taoist Qigong with Eva Wong.

I graduated from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, and am a Diplomate of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine [NCCAOM]. I teach at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, and teach a series of classes in Japanese acupuncture through the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

I hold a certificate from the Toyohari Association, Tokyo, Japan for completion of a course in that delicate style of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. I have studied in seminar with senior Traditional Japanese Acupuncture practitioners, including Shudo Denmai, Masakazu Ikeda, Junji Mizutani, Aikizo Okada, Michioshi Baba, Sorimachi Dai-ichi, Tanioka Masanori and Stephen Brown. These studies include a generous portion of hands on training in palpation and needle technique.

My acupuncture experience in Chicago includes work in a hospital-based Integrative Medicine Center, in a geriatric medicine office, and in my home office. In the first two  locations I gained experience treating those undergoing cancer therapy as well as other conditions associated with aging.

Since 1997 I have focused exclusively on developing the art of acupuncture based on palpation. The sensitivity I use in treatment was first exercised through the study of shiatsu and energy healing in the early 1970’s.  A practitioner acts as a conduit for qi. A conduit needs to be open, so I cultivate this with daily qigong and seated meditation.

When treating an acupuncture point, it is important that there be a sign of effectiveness; this is called the arrival of Qi. A classic description of the arrival of Qi is: “It is as though the wind has blown away the clouds, exposing a clear blue sky”. This image conveys the benefit I aim for: a relief from oppression, a sense of clarity, a feeling of well-being.