About Chinese Medicine
Cupping is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate acupuncture points and larger muscle areas of the body.
The technique involves creating a vacuum inside heated glass cups which are then placed onto the skin. The glass cups are left in place for 5-10 minutes, or if applied to large muscle areas, slid along the muscle group being treated, before being gently removed.
Traditionally, a vacuum is created by inserting a naked flame into cup and removing it. The cup is then placed quickly onto the area to be treated before the vacuum is lost.
Following treatment, areas of redness and bruise like circles may appear, although this does not always occur and will depend on the nature of the complaint being addressed. Cupping marks are short lived and typically disappear after 5-6 days.
Cupping should not be painful. The level of suction applied with cupping is always adjusted to the comfort level of the receiver.
Common conditions where cupping is used as adjunct therapy include respiratory conditions, muscle aches and pains, as well as some gastrointestinal and skin disorders.
MOXA AND MOXIBUSTION
Similar to cupping, moxibustion is a techique used to stimulate acupuncture points and larger areas of the body.
The techinique invloves the burning or moxa -a soft wooly substance prepared from mugwort leaves (Artemesia vulgaris)- either directly on to the skin, or held just above the area being treated. A the moxa smoulders slowly, a therapeutic head permeateds the skin and stimulates the local area.