Cupping

Cupping is an ancient therapy still used today for various purposes. It involves the application of glass or plastic cups by creating a vacuum effect with heat or suction. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), cupping disperses Qi and Blood stagnation, improving the flow of both throughout the body and stimulating local healing. This technique may be used to activate the lymphatic system, improve digestive and respiratory disorders, boost the immune system and relieve pain in musculoskeletal conditions. Cupping usually creates temporary but painless bruises on the skin; residual soreness similar to that following a deep tissue massage may also be experienced.
 

Gua Sha

Your acupuncturist may choose to add Gua Sha for certain acute or chronic conditions. This technique may be loosely translated to “scraping” and involves repetitive rubbing or stroking of the skin with a rounded object. As with cupping, Gua Sha reduces Qi and Blood stagnation, provides pain relief and moves Qi to promote healing throughout the body. One main goal of Gua Sha is to stimulate blood flow to the area treated; this typically causes small red spots to appear and some soreness may occur, as with cupping. The spots and soreness should decrease within 2-3 days.
 

Tui Na

Tui Na encompasses a variety of bodywork techniques, including range of motion, traction, massage and acupressure. This therapy may be used to treat acute and chronic musculoskeletal issues, as well as other conditions. Like acupressure, Tui Na affects the flow of Qi to stimulate healing in specific areas of the body, often distant to the site treated. 
 

Herbal Formulas

Herbal medicine is a safe alternative or concurrent therapy to pharmaceutical drugs. Like acupuncture, herbal prescriptions are aimed at treating imbalances in the body and are far less likely to have side effects or adverse reactions than pharmaceuticals. Your acupuncturist will select the herbal formula or formulas specific to your current condition. These formulas rarely interact with prescription medications and are only prescribed with a certainty of safety for the individual patient.
 

Moxibustion

At ALIGN, your acupuncture treatment may include moxibustion for conditions caused by a cold or Qi stagnation pattern. Moxibustion is a warming therapy that combines acupuncture point and meridian location with herbal therapy. A Chinese herb, Ai Ye, or mugwort, is burned and held over the skin to expel cold and warm the meridians while facilitating the movement of Qi and Blood. The most commonly used form of moxibustion today is indirect, which involves separation of moxa (the ball of Ai Ye) from the skin by several inches, rather than direct placement of moxa on the skin, thus significantly reducing the risk of burns and pain. At ALIGN, only indirect moxibustion is performed and always under constant supervision.