The practice of cupping has been used for thousands of years in many cultures including China, for the treatment of pain and disease. It is done by placing a flame in a glass cup to create a vacuum, before placing the cup on the skin. The suction caused by the vacuum draws up the skin, and creates a pulling sensation. The cups can either be left in one position, or they can be moved over muscle groups to relieve tension and pain. In some cases, the cups may leave a red mark that will subside after a few days.
Cupping relieves tension, relaxes the muscles, and is particularly used to treat pain. It also draws out toxins and metabolic wastes stored in the muscles and facilitates their removal by stimulating the flow of blood and lymph in the affected area. Cupping can also be used for a variety of other conditions such as cold/flu, asthma, wheezing, etc.
Auricular acupuncture can be used alone, or in conjunction with body acupuncture. There are points on the ear that relate to specific organs and parts of the body. The use of these points reinforces the use of body points and targets specific organs and areas of the body. It is used for a variety of different conditions, but is most commonly known for its treatment of stress, anxiety, weight control and addictions, including smoking.
Moxibustion involves the burning of a Chinese herb, called mugwort, which has a very warming and penetrating quality.
When a point or needle is heated with a burning moxa stick, the warmth penetrates deeply into the channels, and increases blood circulation. It can be used to relieve pain or clear Cold, or to generally enhance the effect of the needles in tonifying the energy. Moxibustion is also successfully used on a particular point to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth.