moxibustion & cupping
Moxibustion & Cupping
Moxibustion quite simply means the burning of Moxa. It is used throughout Eastern Asia including China, Japan, Korea, Tibet Vietnam and Mongolia as part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy. It consists of placing dried moxa or mugwort cones on particular pseudo points on meridian pathways and setting them alight to enhance the energetic balance of that particular point or meridian. Depending on whether the point needs heat or cold, slices of ginger or cucumber can be placed under the cone for stronger effect. Cigar shaped sticks are also commonly used by pointing them at the particular area for treatment, or inserting them in a tiger warmer which can then be used for specific point therapy. There is no scientific evidence that this therapy has any beneficial effect on the body, but it does prove to enhance a relaxing therapy when used in association with e.g. Shiatsu or Acupuncture. Cupping involves placing heated cups on specific pseudo points similar to the moxa described above. There are adverse effects to cupping including bruising and skin discoloration. There are few reviews due to the effectiveness of the therapy not being well documented. Cupping is usually practiced alongside other therapies such as Moxibustion. Traditional glass cups have now been replaced by modern suction devices. Practicing surgeon David Gorski observes that it has no place in modern medicine and is all risk for no benefit.
How does Moxibustion work?
Moxa stimulates circulation through the points on the meridians to enhance the flow of Qi in the body. It is also thought to have a benefit in turning breech babies. Direct non-scarring Moxibustion necessitates to be removed from the skin before the moxa fully burns through. Fire Cupping on the other hand works by burning off the oxygen in the cup and placing it on the skin. The lack of oxygen in the cup creates a suction, and encourages the tissue to rise into the cup due to the vacuum. The cup can remain in palce for between 5 and 15 mins. During this time the cups can be massaged over the required area without releasing the pressure. This is called sliding or gliding cupping. This therapy is mostly used in TCM particularly in Chinese hospitals since the 1950’s and continues to be a popular therapy today.
What does a treatment involve?
A treatment of either Moxibustion or Cupping is usually undertaken in support of another therapy. Depending on the area being treated the set-up would be similar to preparing for a massage treatment with heated towels in place and the area being treated exposed for the duration of the treatment only.
What are the Benefits?
- Can treat both Excess and Deficient conditions of the body
- Works very well with acupuncture
45 mins – Back/Shoulder