Other Therapies

Cupping

 

Cupping is an ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which a special cup is applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. Cupping brings fresh blood to the area and helps improve circulation.

 

Traditional cupping, sometimes referred to as “fire cupping,” typically uses heat in the form of an alcohol fueled flame to create a vacuum-like suction inside of glass cups. In recent years, cups with a small valve and pump combination are used to create suction. These are growing in popularity for their ease of use and safety in most clinic environments.

 

Cupping is often used as a complement to acupuncture for the treatment of musculo-sketal and joint pains as well as respiratory conditions. Cupping is always chosen with patient dialogue and discussion to determine appropriateness.

Moxibustion

 

Moxibustion involves the heating of acupuncture points with smoldering mugwort herb (known as moxa). Moxibustion stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes what we call the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment.

 

There are numerous techniques for the use of moxa on acupuncture points.

 

One of the most popular is an indirect form often called “pole moxa”, in which the dried leaves of the mugwort herb is compressed into a cigar-shaped tube; and, as one end is ignited and glows with heat, the practitioner pulses the heat over an appropriate point location for therapeutic effect. The indications for the use of moxa are many but includes: low energy, persistent fatigue, depression, weak digestion, sensation of cold, immune enhancement and relevant symptoms of pain.

Movement and Therapeutic Exercise

 

A devoted Chinese Medicine practitioner may study, practice and teach a form of Tai chi or Qigong, which means “life energy cultivation” and is traditionally seen as a method to cultivate and balance qi. The practice involves rhythmic movement, focused breathing, and concentrated awareness. Qigong is a safe and gentle meditative exercise form that promotes healing of the mind and body. I am happy to educate, support and encourage anyone to study and practice within these remarkable models. As with many forms of movement or exercise we see in our typical large city environment, there are varied teaching styles and approaches. It’s pertinent to note that it can sometimes be difficult to identify with an approach from an unfamiliar traditional culture. Qigong and Tai chi are easily obscured by the growing predominance of athletic and fitness centers, recreational sports, personal trainers, running and walking programs , home exercise equipment, swimming, yoga, dance, pilates and more.

 

If injury, pain, health concerns, being “out of shape”, the humility of the aging process or general lack of experience inhibits your will or makes choosing any path beyond the status quo difficult, it may be time for thoughtful re-examination and or coaching. A plan that can be executed quickly and simply at home may improve health and accelerate your recovery from pain and therefore be an appropriate choice short term. It’s important to understand and distinguish between any movement and exercise discipline for therapeutic purposes and what may work for you for prevention, recreation or to complement your overall health.

 

If you already have experience and confidence with therapeutic or any other exercise model, there may be little to discuss or review here; however, acute or chronic pain may dictate the need for a very specific strategy, short term or long term. Let’s learn together what makes sense for you.