Acupuncture Supplimentary Treatments
Moxibustion is the burning of a herb know as moxa or Ai Ye (艾叶). It can be ignited directly on the skin and removed when a warm sensation is felt. This has a tonifying effect and maybe repeated numerous times on a selection of points.
The herb can also be compressed and rolled into a cylindrical shape and once ignited is held close to the skin. The area selected is then warmed encouraging increased circulation of blood and qi in the area.
The herb can also be burned while placed on the end of a needle. The heat can be conducted down the needle into the acupuncture point, reinforcing the action of the needle.
Moxibustion has been shown to be very benificial to help turn breech babies and your acupuncturist should be able to show you how to administer this at home. (For more information on TCM and acupuncture during pregnancy and labour click here)
Cupping refers to the placing of glass cups on to the body surface after a vacuum has been generated inside them. This causes the cups to strongly attach themselves to the skin.
This therapy has the action of promoting the circulation of blood and qi in the area. It will alleviate stagnation of qi and blood which is often associated to joint and muscle pain that occurs after injury to an area. It can also be used to draw out toxins present in the body and even help to reduce the severity of colds and flu.
Gua Sha is a treatment that uses tool to scrape the surface of the body. This is normally performed over the energy pathways of the body, promoting blood and qi circulation.
It is able to provide diagnostic information as well as being a treatment. When the tool is drawn across the skin it can highlight areas of stagnation. The practitioner is then able to focus treatment in these areas.
It can be used to treat a variety of different cases but is normally used to regulate qi circulation alleviating stagnation and stopping pain.
Electro-stimulation or electro-acupuncture is a relatively new advancement in TCM. It involves the connection of the acupuncture needles to a battery-powered machine. The points are then supplied with a small electrical current.
The machines replicate the manipulation of the needles normally delivered by the practitioner. This enables multiple groups of needles to receive stimulation continuously for a prolonged time, greatly promoting the effects of the treatment.
Ear / Auricular Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture or ear acupuncture can have its origins traced back nearly 2000 years. TCM theory understands that all parts of the body are reflected in the ear, much the same as Relexology believes the same of the foot.
By stimulating points in the ear, various diseases can be treated. The points can be stimulated either by the insertion of very fine needles or by pressure applied using small seeds or metal balls.
Ear acupuncture is very useful as the patient can retain the needles or seeds in the ear for several days at a time. This means that the benefits will be continuous for days after the patient has seen the TCM practitioner.
This therapy is very popular with patients who are apprehensive about receiving needles. It is commonly used for the treatment of addiction, e.g. stop smoking, loose weight and drug addiction.