Moxibustion is the heating of acupuncture points with moxa (mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris). Moxibustion promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi and improves circulation in a similar way that acupuncture needles do. Because of its warmth, moxa is used for cold and damp conditions. It is a safe and non-invasive technique that can be used alone or together with acupuncture.
Cupping is an ancient technique used by many cultures. It involves creating suction using a cup and placing it on the skin. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup. This causes blood to accumulate in the area, which is why cupping leaves bruise-like marks. The marks disappear within a couple days to a week. The body re-integrates this accumulated blood back into circulation. In this way cupping removes obstructions and improves circulation.
Tui Na translates to "pushing grasping." It is a Chinese medical bodywork technique. Like both acupuncture and moxibustion, Tui Na promotes the smooth flow of qi and blood and improves their circulation through the meridians. Tui Na is particularly effective in treating the physical body (muscles, tendons and joints). It is helpful with structural misalignment, orthopedic conditions and dance/sports injuries. It can also treat respiratory, gynecological and other internal diseases.
Qi Gong are internal exercises that align breath, movement and awareness. These exercises strengthen the body, sharpen internal awareness and promote health. Traditionally it is a practice used to cultivate and balance qi. Qi Gong encourages the body to move more efficiently during everyday movements.
Gua Sha is a technique used in Asia to remove stagnation. It includes palpation and cutaneous stimulation where the skin is pressed and stroked by a round edged instrument. By doing this, 'sha' (small red petechiae) is drawn to the surface. The 'sha' fades within 2-7 days. Similar to cupping this technique removes stagnation and promotes circulation.
Chinese Dietary Therapy
Diet and nutrition are an integral part of Chinese medicine. Eating in relation to the seasons is important. Chinese dietary theory recognizes that foods have different properties. It is important and helpful to eat foods that keep the body in balance in order to maintain health. Eating a variety of balanced, whole foods creates health.
In a similar way that Chinese medicine addresses diet, it can be helpful in addressing lifestyle and/or work issues.