Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles at strategic ‘acu’-points on the body. The body recognizes this stimulation by responding with its nervous system, vascular (blood) system, and endocrine (hormonal) system. The improved circulation of these systems help to create a relief from pain.
Cupping has been used for centuries all over the world to help improve circulation deep within the muscle layers. It involves the use of a negative pressure or ‘vacuum’ inside of a smooth edged glass cup. This negative pressure is created by burning out the oxygen inside of the cup with a flame. The flame is removed and the cup quickly placed on the skin. This ‘vacuum’ sensation then pulls up the first few layers of skin and muscle tissue. The effect of this is greater circulation deep beneath the top layers of skin and muscle. It is very helpful for pain that is caused by congestion that is deeply rooted and difficult to relieve with normal massage and stretching.
Moxibustion is a heat therapy which involves burning of the herb Artemisia Vulgaris, commonly known as mugwort. The heat is transmitted into the body and serves to warm and stimulate the ‘acu’-points. Moxibustion has traditionally been used just as much as needles to activate the body. It feels like a warm, comforting glow and benefits the digestive system, reproductive system as well as energizes the body. It can also be very helpful for arthritic joints.