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Cupping, Gua Sha, and Moxibustion

Cupping

Glass or silicon cups are placed directly on the skin. Suction is created either by fire/heat or a manual pump. It is an incredibly therapeutic modality and can feel like a deep tissue massage. ​Cupping can invigorate the lymphatic system, improve the respiratory system, and it is often used for pain management. It increases blood circulation which can promote cellular repair and connective tissue health.

Once the cups are removed you will notice purple circles where the cups were placed, this is called Sha. It may look like bruising to you but no need to panic. The marks it will fade in a few days and is a good sign the cupping helped lift the blood to more superficial levels in the skin so new blood flow can rush into the lower areas near connective tissue to promote healing.



 

Gua Sha

Gua Sha is a technique used in massage that involves repeated pressured strokes over the skin with a smooth edged tool. I use a ceramic Chinese spoon. Gua Sha feels like a deep tissue massage similar to cupping and leaves the red/purple marks on the skin called Sha. It is useful for chronic pain, old injuries, inflammation, triggering an immune response, and is also used for the common cold.


 

Moxibustion

In Chinese medicine we can stimulate an acupuncture point using a thin needle or we can stimulate the area with heat using an herb, Ai Ye (Artemisia Vulgaris - Chinese Mugwort).  Moxibustion is an essential part of Traditional Chinese medicine and is one of my favorite modalities to offer. 

 

It is extremely effective for many health conditions. Moxa is considered to be pure yang (hot/active) in its quality, therefore the heat can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and muscles and even effect organ systems. It aids in digestion, improves circulation, is used for painful/irregular periods and fertility, helps with breech presentation, incontinence, and painful joints. 



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