Cupping is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine and is still often used alongside acupuncture.Traditionally cupping is applied by warming glass cups by holding smouldering cotton wool inside them. This removes the oxygen so that when the cup is applied to the skin the ensuing vacuum pulls the skin and underlying tissue gently into the cup.
Cups are applied for around one to ten minutes. The Chinese believe that drawing up the skin will open the pores, stimulate the flow of blood, balance and stimulate the flow of Qi. I often use a technique called ‘moving cupping’, whereby suction is applied via glass cups. A special massage oil is applied to the skin (mostly on the back) and the cup is applied and then gently drawn down the back. It is like having a massage but instead of pushing in we are drawing out. Cupping can be a highly enjoyable and effective procedure, and it is a favourite treatment of many of my patients.
Gusha aids in the circulation of the superficial layers of the muscle and skin. It can also be used as a treatment to avert the flu symptoms in the initial stages.Gusha may be used whenever a patient has pain whether associated with an acute or chronic disorder. There may be aching, tightness, a feeling of stiffness and restriction of movement, tenderness and /or a knotty feeling in the muscles. Palpation ( the process of examining part of the body by careful feeling with the hands and finger tips ) reveals specific areas that may benefit from this technique. Guasha is used to treat as well as prevent common cold, flu, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, asthma, as well as any chronic disorder involving pain and the congestion of the bodies Chi (Qi) and Blood.
A very effective TCM technique, involving the burning of a specific herbal medicine plant placed on specific acupuncture points throughout the body. The main purpose of moxibustion is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, warm the interior and maintain general health. That is why it has been shown to be effective in cold and stagnate conditions.
A small amount of the herb burns directly on top of the selected acupoints or is placed on the tip of the needle. Using the heat to relieve pain and discomfort is one of the oldest forms of treatment. Moxibustion remains a very safe and effective healing method.