What is Moxibustion?
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.
Auricular Acupuncture / Ear Acupuncture
Within the ear there are dozens of acupuncture points that represent specific areas and functions of the body. This creates a microsystem that reflects our health and that can be used for treatment; ear acupuncture can be an addition to whole body acupuncture or as a treatment on its own.
One of the benefits of ear acupuncture is its ease of application. It can be provided while the patient is seated, and there is no need to take off any clothing. This quickly became an attractive option for many people. It’s also an effective way to treat pain without applying needles to the area that hurts.
While ear acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment, it is often and more commonly added to full body acupuncture sessions as a way of reinforcing the therapy. One technique involves the application of ear seeds, or pellets that stimulate the “points”. These seeds are traditionally vacarria seeds (which resemble poppy seeds) and are on small bandages that hold them in place. Leaving those seeds for a few days, and the patient to gently massage on the seed allow the benefits of treatment to continue after the patient leaves the clinic. They are barely noticeable and don’t get in the way of normal activities.
What is it?
Electro acupuncture is similar to acupuncture, a widely practiced form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles to stimulate specific pressure points linked to unwanted symptoms.
In standard acupuncture, one needle is used at each treatment point. Electro acupuncture is a modified form that uses two needles.
A mild electric current passes between these needles during treatment. This current generally applies more stimulation to acupoints than needle twirling or other hand manipulation techniques an acupuncturist might use.
Read on to learn more about electroacupuncture, including how it’s done and the research behind it.
What do people use it for?
People use electro acupuncture to address a range of symptoms and health issues, including:
How does it work?
In TCM, your health depends on the flow of qi (vital energy) in your body. This energy travels along invisible pathways, known as meridians. These are found throughout your body.
Qi is believed to help keep your body in balance and promote its natural ability to heal itself. A blocked or disrupted flow of qi can negatively impact physical and emotional well-being.
That’s where electro acupuncture comes in. It stimulates the points linked to your symptoms to help restart the flow of qi. Two needles are placed around the point while a machine delivers an electrical impulse to them.
Electro acupuncture is intended to help increase the potential healing effects of standard acupuncture.
What happens during a session?
Electro acupuncture is done by an acupuncturist. Here’s what a session might look like:
Your acupuncturist will evaluate your symptoms and select points for treatment.
They’ll insert a needle at the treatment point and another needle nearby.
Once the needles are inserted to the correct depth, your acupuncturist will use electrodes to connect the needles to a special electro acupuncture machine.
After the electrodes are attached, they’ll turn on the machine. Electro acupuncture machines have adjustable current and voltage settings. Low voltages and frequencies will be used at first, though your acupuncturist may adjust the frequency and voltage of the current during treatment.
The electric current pulsates, alternating between the two needles.
A typical session might last between 10 and 20 minutes.