Acupuncture utilizes thin, flexible and sterile stainless steel needles inserted into acupuncture points. The needles helps regulate the flow of the bodyʼs qi (energy). Additionally, acupuncture removes blockages in the body to help treat pain as well as strengthen the bodyʼs immunity to prevent disease.
Gua translates as “friction” or “rubbing.” Sha refers to the red petechiae that result after treatment. Gua sha is performed with a round-edged tool, such as a spoon, lid or horn, combined with oil. The practitioner makes firm strokes on the selected area resulting in the appearance of “sha,” which typically lasts 2-4 days. Gua sha improves circulation, allowing it to alleviate pain. Additionally, gua sha prevents patients from becoming more sick if they receive the treatment early enough. Often times practitioners choose to use gua sha when the patientʼs muscles feel tight and/or “ropey.”
Moxa is believed to originate in cold, windy Northern China. There inhabitants warmed themselves by spending time near the fire, and soon they developed moxa to treat symptoms they suffered such as abdominal pain and distention. Moxa is composed of Artemisia Vulgaris, a Chinese herb from the chrysanthemum family. It is used to warm and strengthen, encourage the proper flow of qi and blood and treat as well as prevent disease. As a result, moxa treats symptoms related to gynecological disorders, digestive disorders, fatigue and pain. Practitioners burn the moxa on or above acupuncture points, and it can be formed into cones, sticks and stick-ons.
Cupping dates back to the beginning of the fourth century. Early practitioners utilized animal horns or bamboo and a flame to create suction, but most current practitioners use “pump cups” made of glass or plastic. A vacuum seal is created by pulling air out of the cup. Like moxa, cupping promotes the smooth flow of qi and blood and can warm areas. While first used for expelling pus, cupping commonly treats pain, digestive disorders and symptoms associated with the lungs e.g. asthma and cough.