I frequently use a number of additional techniques during a normal treatment. These are powerful methods in their own right but in my practice I normally use them alongside acupuncture to extend and improve the effects of treatment.
This is a method of treating acupuncture points using heat. A dried herbal preparation derived from the mugwort plant is used to deliver this heat. There are essentially two ways of doing this:
Direct moxa: a very small amount (normally less than rice grain size) is burned directly on the skin and snuffed before completely burning down. A slight pinch of heat can be felt. It is thought to be highly effective with inflamation or immunity type disorders. I find it very useful in areas of stubborn stiffness and weakness where acupuncture is not working so well.
Indirect moxa: a ball of moxa is placed on an acupuncture and burned. A warm glow penetrates the body through the skin and can often be felt as a pleasant sensation which may spread to other areas. This technique is often employed when there is a distinct feeling of coolness to a part of the body.
A suction effect is applied to various parts of the body (frequently back or shoulders). The cups can be slid on the skin using oil and this will feel like a massage. The vacuum effect on the skin pulls the blood to the surface and helps to circulate it in areas where this may be impaired.
Cupping can be used in many cases but I find it beneficial in some cases of more severe muscular tension where acupuncture is not working well enough and in cases of stubborn cough, asthma and other breathing difficulties.