Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of the herb, mugwort, to facilitate healing. Mugwort, also known as artemesia vulgaris, has a long history of use in folk medicine. Moxibustion has been used in TCM for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, and maintain general health and balance.
During a moxibustion treatment the practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another form of moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and retained. The tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.
Cupping is an ancient form of treatment used for treating mainly musclo-skeltetal issues, especially back pain.
Cupping is one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine. Today acupuncturists use cups made of glass, plastic or bamboo.
The glass or bamboo cups are heated with a flame before being placed on the skin to created localised pressure by vacuum. This is known as “fire cupping”. When plastic cups are used they are suctioned with special device and this type is called “suction cupping”. Both types are practised at Jenny McElvaney’s Clinic.
Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body at the same time. Some practitioners will also apply small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets them move the cups up and down particular acupoints or meridians after they have been applied.
The lip of the cup creates a seal. As the air inside the cup cools, a firm suction /vacuum is created. Skin and muscle tissue are drawn up into the cup. Cupping therapy is mainly performed on one’s back because there are five meridians on your back. When these meridians are opened, the internal energy is able to flow through the whole body. Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’ of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.
The cups, when removed, sometimes leave temporary marks in the form of red rings or the marks may look like bruises. This is perfectly normal and is not sore; it is just discolouration from stagnant blood and fluids in the area being drawn to the surface and out of the muscles and deeper tissues. If there is no stagnation, the skin will become red while the cup is on but the redness will fade quickly when the cup is removed.
In China, cupping is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain.
During electroacupuncture the inserted needles are attached to a device that generates an electric pulse using small clips. This gives a stronger stimulation to the acupuncture points and is especially useful in treating long-standing conditions and musculo-skeletal injuries. The machine can also be used with pads, which allow gentle needle-free stimulation of acupuncture points.
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