Cupping therapy has been part of Chinese medicine since the use of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Originally, an animal horn was used to make cups, then later bamboo, brass, and ceramic, and bamboo, then later glass cups were used. Today, and in our clinic, we use plastic cups in a variety of different sizes.
Cupping is like a very deep tissue massage. Cupping removes local stagnation of toxins, blood, body fluids, and toxins that cause pain.
Cupping is a simple technique. The practitioner sets a one or more cups on a painful area of the body and uses a hand vacuum pump located at the top of the cup to create a vacuum, drawing the skin up into the cup a bit. The result is a movement of fresh blood to the area, the release of toxins, acupuncture point stimulation, increased circulation of blood and lymph, relaxation of rigid or tight muscles, and reduced inflammation.
Many are familiar with cupping marks from watching U.S. Olympic swimmers. Noticeable marks similar to a bruise or hickey may appear, and although they can look alarming, they are the result of old blood and body fluids drawn towards the skin surface from the vacuum, not a new injury. Cupping marks fade away on their own within days or weeks depending upon the severity of the condition.
Aches and pains of various types including low back and leg pain, neck and shoulder tension, and fibromyalgia symptoms are reduced or relieved. It also helps open up the chest and benefits the lungs to treat respiratory problems such as a cough, bronchitis, and abdominal problems.
Cupping can release a substantial amount of toxins quickly and drinking plenty of water post-treatment will help reduce any temporary detoxing symptoms. A patient handout about cupping is available at the reception desk.
Gua Sha is a healing technique commonly used across all of Asia. The treatment effect and uses are the same as cupping. The term Gua means to rub, and Sha is describing the congestion of blood and body fluids near the surface of the body. During Gua Sha friction from repeated strokes over an area of pain, brings up the Sha that was dispersed in the tissues, coming to the skin’s surface as small red petechiae. Dispersing the congestion allows fresh oxygen-rich blood to move into the tissues for healing. Treated areas may not color, while other areas with old blood accumulation may color to a deep purple.
Gua Sha is effective in cases of pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory or digestive problems, and any condition where during palpation the skin blanches, indicating the presence of “Sha”, the congestion of blood, in the superficial tissues.
A patient handout about Gua Sha is available at the reception desk.
Moxibustion evolved thousands of years ago in northern China. It is part of traditional Chinese medical practices and came about at the same time as acupuncture.
Moxibustion involves the burning of moxa over specific acupoints or areas. It made from the wool like leaves of the Mugwort plant. In our clinic, we use mini-moxa stick-ons with a shield. The moxa is the size of a pencil eraser on a small cardboard base, which when applied to the skin and lit creates a wonderful radiant heat that penetrates deeply into the body to promote circulation and reduce pain. This form of treatment, usually combined with acupuncture, is indicated for improving general health and treating many chronic conditions.
Ear seeds are a form of acupressure. Stress, addiction, smoking cessation, and weight loss are the most common uses. It involves the stimulation of the acupoints located on the ear with tiny seeds or pellets on a tiny "band-aid." The seeds are not much larger than a sesame seed, do not pierce the skin, and are painless when affixed. The client will leave these seeds in place for up to one week and re-stimulate the points by massaging the ear gently several times each day.
There are over 200 acupoints on each ear that represent the anatomical parts and functions of the human body. By observing points of tenderness, coloration changes, protrusions or depressions, and skin variations, a trained practitioner can not only treat a wide range of diseases using only the ear and can also diagnose from them as well. When the seeds are gently rubbed the points become stimulated, activating the central nervous system and sending a signal through the cranial nerves on the auricle of the ear. The signal sends a direct message to the brain that results in a rapid healing response.
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