Cupping is becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst athletes, for musculo-skeletal pain. Traditionally, cupping has been used in many different cultures for a variety of pain conditions and respiratory issues. Cupping works by creating a vacuum which physically ‘lifts’ the skin, helping to release and unknot the tight muscle fibres and connective tissue beneath.
Cupping strongly promotes circulation to the local area, flooding the tissues with fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood which contains all the ingredients to help the soft tissue heal from chronic injuries. For respiratory issues the lifting action of cupping increases the blood flow and released pressure around the back of the lungs and diaphragm, helping to clear and expel residual mucus in the lungs.
Cupping is commonly combined with acupuncture and massage therapy for the most effective clinical results. Traditionally glass Cups are used and a flame is passed around inside to heat the Cup. The flame is withdrawn and the Cup is quickly placed on the skin. In the modern day we also use plastic/glass Cupping with a suction pump instead of a flame.
Moxibustion is the practice of burning the herb Moxa (Artesium Vulgaris or Mugwart) at certain acupuncture points on the body. The herb is burnt in small amounts on top of a layer of protective burn cream on the skin. When burnt, the herb sends a gentle sensation of warmth into the body. The warmth then penetrates into the connective tissue, helping to release any area’s of tension and promote better circulation in the area.
Moxibustion is often combined with acupuncture treatment, and is commonly used to treat immune gynaecological issues, infertility and chronic fatigue. Moxa also has a strong relaxing effect on the nervous system and can help calm the mind in cases of stress or anxiety.