Cupping is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine.
In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed by burning a substance inside the cup to create a vacuum. A practitioner then places the cup upside-down over a specific area of the patient’s body. The vacuum anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it, drawing up the skin helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balance the flow of energy, break up obstructions, and create a channel for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Cupping is one of the techniques often used by acupuncturists to treat asthma and congestion, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain types of muscle pain.
Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach are also preferred sites for treatment.
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Guasha is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine. It involves scraping the surface of the skin with either a ceramic spoon or another guasha tool, in order to break up stagnation and scar tissue in muscles. The technique creates increased blood flow to an area. It is often used for tight neck and upper back muscles. It also can be very effective in treatments of acute muscle tears and tendon injuries.
Moxibustion (sometimes referred to as “moxa”) is a Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, (also known as “Ai Ye”), to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used in China for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of energy, and maintain general health and wellness.
Moxibustion is applied in a number of different ways, including burning the herb on needles that are inserted in the body.
Other ways of application are to use a moxa stick to indirectly apply heat to acupuncture points, or burning the herb on a medium such as fresh ginger or garlic, which rests on the skin.
Acupuncturists frequently use moxibustion for people who have a cold or stagnant condition. This technique expels cold and warms the meridians, leading to a smoother flow of blood and energy.