Cupping Therapy  

Cupping Therapy has been used across the globe for centuries as a non invasive treatment to relieve a variety of health conditions. Cupping can relieve chronic muscle tension, pain, adhesions, scar tissue, detoxify the body, and help with proper circulation of blood, lymph, and the removal of metabolic wastes from our tissues.

Today cupping therapy uses suction within a glass, bamboo, silicon, or plastic cup to gently pull skin, fascia, and muscle up into it. The suction is created by removing air from the cup either with a vacuum pump or by utilizing a small flame that quickly uses up oxygen in the cup to create the vacuum. The flame is inside the cup for a mere second, so does not make the cup hot before it contacts the skin. It draws metabolic waste from muscle, skin, and fat to the skins surface, and allows the lymphatic system to circulate properly. The lymphatic system eventually eliminates waste the from the body via the kidneys. 

Certain cupping techniques can leave discolorations on the skin where cupping is done. These discolorations are often mistaken for bruising, but they are actually toxins and metabolic waste being pulled towards the skins surface. This is the most effective way to remove these waste materials from the body. If there are no metabolic wastes or toxins in the tissues, discoloration will not occur with these cupping techniques.

Not all cupping techniques create discolorations. Some cupping techniques are geared towards gently moving lymphatic drainage and loosening fascia. These techniques do not leave discolorations.


Cupping for TMD/TMJ

Overtime cupping can correct chronic muscle tension from TMD/TMJ.  The suction provided by cupping helps trick chronically tight jaw muscles into relaxing by applying negative pressure on facial muscles.  Facial cups are specifically designed to fit the contours of the jaw, temples, and forehead to relax facial muscles in a way that is otherwise difficult to achieve  Pair with acupuncture cupping can work even faster to help alleviate TMJD.  


Guasha- A scraping technique for scar tissue, trigger points, and adhesions

Guasha is another non-invasive therapy that treats scar tissue, trigger points, and myofacial adhesions.  All of these things can develop overtime from intense athletic training, poor posture, a stressful work environment, sports injuries, and from car accidents.  Scar tissue and adhesions are connective tissue fibers that were built in the wrong direction or directions while healing from minor or major injuries.  
Guasha can decrease musculoskeletal pain and improve range of motion and flexibility by breaking up scar tissue, trigger points, and other myofacial adhesions. This allows your body to lay down new connective tissue fibers in the proper directions. 


Moxibustion Therapy 

Moxibustion therapy is often added into an acupuncture treatment.  Moxibustion is the burning of moxa on or near an acupuncture point or meridian.  We use two types of moxa in treatment: direct or indirect moxa. Direct moxa is the floss or fuzzy part of the Chinese mugwort plant.  In herbal medicine, mugwort is a very warming herb when taken internally.  When burned on or near an acupuncture point, it increases its ability to warm the acupuncture meridian, point, or entire person.  Direct moxa is rolled into rice grain sized piece and placed directly onto an acupuncture point.   A protective salve is placed on the skin before placing the moxa.  Indirect moxa is a compressed charcoal stick of mugwort that is burned above an acupuncture point or used to trace a meridian.  It is held about one inch from the skin and used until the desired warmth is achieved.  

Moxibustion therapy is useful for a large variety of conditions.  Depending on the technique and acupuncture points chosen to warm, it can help boost the immune system, regulate digestion, improve the menstrual cycle, decrease pain, and helps to resolve both feelings of anxiety and depression.  For more information on moxibustion therapy, cupping, or guasha please do not hesitate to send an email to thompson.acupuncture@gmail.com with your questions.