Beyond Acupuncture

Additional modalities may be integrated with your treatment to enhance and support the effects of the acupuncture.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping is a treatment where heated glass cups or medical-grade silicone cups are placed on areas of the body to create a suction effect. Skin, fascia, and muscle layers are drawn into the cup, creating a pulling sensation. Cupping relaxes tight muscles, reduces trigger point pain, and decreases inflammation following injury. Frequent and regular treatments increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage. This enhances a person’s overall ability to recover from workouts/strenuous activity and see improvements in muscle endurance.

There are two styles of cupping techniques: stationary and sliding. For stationary cupping, cups are placed at specific areas of the body and left for a short period of time. For sliding cupping, cups are placed on lubricated skin and moved in the appropriate direction. An increase in circulation occurs for both techniques where the only difference is stationary cupping targets a specific area and sliding cupping has a broader, more general effect.

Cupping has proven to be a safe and very effective modality when performed by a trained health professional. A common side effect is the bruise-like painless discoloration on the skin which can take a week or more to fade.

Moxibustion (“Moxa”)

Moxibustion (also known as “Moxa”) is a heat therapy where a trained practitioner “burns” dried herb leaves close to the skin at specific acupuncture points. Moxa usually comes in the form of a dried Chinese herb called mugwort. The benefits of this technique are used to promote healing in the musculoskeletal tissues, reducing joint pain due to injury or arthritis, or any sensations of cold on areas of a patient’s body.

Various forms of moxa applications exist where the moxa shape and technique delivery differ:
Indirect Moxa - most common form of moxa. Mugwort is compressed in a cigar-like shape and held two inches above of the point until the area starts getting pinkish and warm to the touch. Heat sensation remains closer to the skin.
Direct Moxa - mugwort is rolled into a cone shape, lit, and placed over acupuncture points. When the patient experiences heat sensation, the moxa is moved away and brought back to the point. Application is repeated multiple times to allow for gradual penetration of herb energy and heat deep into the soft tissue.
Needle Moxa - mugwort is rolled into a ball, placed and lit on the shaft of a needle. This technique provides the deepest heat penetration to the soft tissue.

The only downside of moxa is the smell and smoke emitted when the herbs are lit. The smell resembles marijuana and is only performed in a well-ventilated room. Moxa treatment is not advised for persons with any sensitivities to strong smells, history of asthma, or any respiratory conditions.