How Cupping and Moxibustion Can Help You
Cupping and moxibustion are Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments that work on the same principles as acupuncture. Throughout your body, there are acupuncture points located along meridians through which qi or vital energy runs. When you feel unwell or sick, there is an imbalance in this meridian system which can be corrected by stimulating specific acupoints so the energy flow can be restored and balanced. Both cupping and moxibustion work on stimulating these acupoints.
What Is Cupping?
Cupping is one of the oldest methods used in Traditional Chinese Medicine – the earliest recorded use dates back to early 3,000 BC. Traditionally, cups were made out of hollowed-out animal horns or bamboo, but today glass or plastic cups are most commonly used.
There are two methods for applying cups to the body for treatment. The first is called “fire-cupping” in which a glass jar is warmed using a cotton ball soaked in alcohol which is lit and placed inside the cup. This removes all oxygen from the cup and creates a vacuum. The jar is then quickly turned upside down and placed on the skin, usually on an acupoint specifically.
The second method simply uses the mechanical action of an air pump to drawn the air out of the cup and create a vacuum on the skin. In both types, the vacuum anchors the cup to the skin and the skin is gently pulled upward inside the jar. By drawing up the skin, the pores are opened up, stimulating qi and blood flow. This allows the body to naturally balance and realign, and helps draw toxins out of the body. The cups are typically left on for five to ten minutes, depending on the condition of the patient.
Alternatively, the cups can be moved up and down the meridians to stimulate the flow of qi and blood. To enable movement, a small amount of herbal oil is applied to the skin before attaching the cup.
Benefits and Uses of Cupping
Cupping can be used in many different treatments, but the most common conditions treated include:
Risks and Precautions of Cupping Therapy
Cupping is generally safe to use and has limited to no side effects. However, when the skin is drawn up, the blood vessels on the surface of the skin are expanded, causing swelling and bruising. These bruises are painless and disappear within a few days.
Should you experience one of the following conditions, you should steer clear of cupping:
Also, if the cups are moved, they should not cross the bony areas of the body.
What Is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. Treatment is done by heating a Chinese herb, called Moxa or Mugwort, over a specific acupuncture point. The radiant heat stimulates the point which warms the meridian channel, strengthens the blood, and stimulates the flow of qi.
There are two types of moxibustion treatment, direct and indirect:
In my clinic I primarily use indirect and warm needle moxa with a charcoal version of the mugwort herb that gives off hardly any smoke.
Benefits and Uses of Moxibustion
Moxibustion can treat many conditions. Here is a list of a few common treatments:
Risks and Precaution of Moxibustion Therapy
Moxibustion has been used safely for centuries, but it’s not for everyone. A person with too much heat should steer clear of moxibustion. If you suffer from respiratory problems, the smoke from the burning moxa can aggravate your condition, so ask your practitioner to use a smokeless alternative.
Cupping and Moxibustion in San Francisco
As you can see, cupping or moxibustion can treat a broad range of conditions. I will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan specifically catering to your condition and preferences, whether you need cupping, moxibustion, or just traditional acupuncture. I take a holistic view with your condition including your illness, general health, and diet, and work out a treatment plan that will best suit your needs.
Contact me if you need more information on cupping and moxibustion or any of my other treatments. I’d love to hear from you!