Acupuncture is a gentle form of natural healing where very fine needles are inserted in special points in order to harness the body’s natural healing system. When this energy is obtained, sensations of numbness, tingling, itchiness, pressure or heaviness may be felt, however these are not painful sensations. Many patients feel immediate relief and reach a deep relaxed state during treatment… often falling asleep.
Moxibustion is a technique that makes use of local heat to regulate blood flow. This is one type of heat therapy and can be thought of as an ancient form of ultra-sound or heat lamp therapy. There are two main methods of moxibustion, both of which employ moxa wool, or the processed leaves of mugwort. In the first method, needles are first inserted and a small amount of moxa is placed on the head of the needle. The moxa wool is then lit to cause gentle heat to penetrate into the body. The second method involves the use of a moxa pole, or a cigar shaped roll of moxa wool. The practitioner burns it above the surface of the body safely until it becomes warm and then withdraws it. It never touches the skin. Moxa poles are often given to patients for self treatment at home.
Cupping involves the application of suction cups made of glass in various sizes to the body. The suction makes it stick and draws the skin and superficial muscles into the cup. The skin then becomes red with increased blood flow. To release the cup, pressure is exerted on the skin around it. This natural and safe therapy has been used for thousands of years in many countries throughout the world. It is especially beneficial for treating the common cold as well as stiff muscles and pain. This is accomplished by bringing slow moving or stagnate blood to the surface of the body for dispersion and allowing fresh blood to enter the area to increase the body’s self-healing response.