Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique that involves burning of mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris), a small spongy herb, near particular acupoints on the body to facilitate healing. Moxibustion “heat” therapy mainly helps to warm the meridians, improve blood circulation, dispel cold and dampness, and strengthen the immune system. Scientific reviews have reported an increase in red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets around the area of treatment, effectively improving oxygen uptake by the cells of the body and driving the targeted systemic functions. Many patients report a warm, soothing sensation during and after a session of moxibustion.
What conditions is it catered for?
It is usually used on people who have cold or stagnant conditions, such as:
Joint pain, arthritic conditions
Women’s health: infertility, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts.
Deficiencies in energy: low immunity, sluggish digestion, fluid retention.
Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi). Qi is the free flow of vital energy circulating through the body and the world around us, if the qi is disrupted or disturbed, it can create stagnation (blockages) or imbalances in the body.
What does cupping therapy do?
TCM teaches that it is the stagnation of qi and blood that causes pain and disease. Cupping invigorates local circulation of qi and blood in the area being treated, resolving swelling, pain, and tension. By drawing impurities to the surface, it removes toxins. From a Western physiology perspective, cupping loosens connective tissue or fascia and stimulated blood flow to the surface. Cupping stimulates tissue relaxation and better cell-to-cell communication. The research of U.S. physiologist and acupuncturist Helene Langevin has documented cell-level changes using an ultrasound camera. She has demonstrated that techniques like acupuncture and cupping reduce markers of inflammation. Inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers) are reduced, and cytokines that promote healing, and relaxation is increased.
What are the benefits of cupping?
The benefits of cupping include local pain relief and muscle relaxation. Cupping improves overall health by removing the energy blockages that TCM practitioners identify as barriers to the flow of healthy energy or qi. For athletes, cupping may help increase blood flow to a particular muscle region or help reduce pain. Numerous athletes from the Olympics in Rio 2016 used cupping. This was easily seen by circular markings on some of the U.S. swim team members.