Cupping is one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine.Using cups made of thick glass or plastic, although bamboo, iron and pottery cups are used in other countries and may be used on you as well by request. In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball, which is soaked in alcohol, lit by fire, then placed inside the cup. Burning a substance inside the cup removes all the oxygen, which creates a vacuum, and the cup is immediately applied to a specific location or meridian on the surface of the skin to address more specific maladies . The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools. Drawing up the skin may open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, thus allowing toxins to be released while veins and arteries are refreshed within these four inches of affected materials.
Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians and is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain, depression, detoxification and reduce swelling. Special combination of techniques are available to suit complex maladies.
Moxibustion & Infrared Therapy
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the application of heat from burning natural substances. The primary natural substance most often used is Mugwort. Our body naturally eminates infrared energy, thus rendering moxibustion as healing with our own energy source. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture - translated, literally means "acupuncture-moxibustion." The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health.
Indications and application for Moxibustion:
Strengthen Immune System
Warm meridians and expel cold
Induce the smooth flow of qi and blood
Strengthen yang from collapse
Prevent diseases and maintain health
There are two types of moxibustion techniques: direct and indirect. Direct Moxibustion uses a small cone of moxa on top of a specific acupuncture point and burned. This type of technique is further categorized into two types: scarring and non-scarring. These two methods depend on whether the therapeutic calls for complete burnout to the surface or to be extinguished or removed before it makes contact with the skin. The most commonly used technique for direct moxa is non-scarring.
Another more popular technique is the in-direct moxibustion. Here are several techniques that have many variations that are not listed: In-direct ignited moxa cone does not contact the skin directly, but is insulated from the skin by a layer of ginseng, salt, garlic, or aconite cake. Mild-warm moxa: Ignited moxa stick placed 2-3 centimeters above the site to bring mild warmth to the local place, and Moxibustion with warming needle, which is an integration of acupuncture and moxibustion, and is used for conditions in which both retention of the needle and moxibustion are needed.
Following the traditional use of moxibustion, moxa pads or Infrared Therapeutic lamps or lasers may be used. Infrared therapeutic devices are a TDP device that features a plate coated with a mineral formation (a low conductance metal with diverse composition). When heated by an electric heating element, the mineral plate emits waves in the infrared range. It produces a uniform heating that makes it more useful than ordinary glass bulb lamps. To increase the heating of a region by the lamp, a medicated oil may be applied to the skin; the oil helps retain the heat and its herbal constituents may contribute to the improvement of local blood circulation and healing.
Note: Patients with respiratory problems may request smoke-less moxa.
Body Work ~ Medical Massage
Body Work is another practice within the tradition of Chinese Medicine besides acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition. We call it Tuina (tway-nah), which means "push, pull." Body work involves working with muscles and joints to help improve circulation, eliminate toxins, relax and recondition muscles, increase joint lubrication and motion, and release tension and stress. It is a combination of acupressure and many other techniques that work with the same meridians and theories used in acupuncture. I utilize body work protocols and techniques specific for various conditions. People also use body work for arthritis, stress, pain, weakness, weight management, detox and for disease prevention.
Gua Sha is a common therapeutic technique sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping'. Gua Sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis. Some Gua Sha tools used are natural horn, jade, silver, gold, spoons or other specialty gua-sha tools.
Modern research shows Gua Sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua Sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting etc., and why Gua Sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders.