Cupping and Gua Sha therapy are also commonly used in Chinese Medicine. Cupping involves glass or plastic cups being placed on the skin and creating a vacuum to achieve suction which stimulates the flow of Qi and blood within the superficial muscle layers. Gua Sha uses a tool usually made of ceramic, plastic or bone, to rub or gently scrape the skin over areas of concern. Both are used for sore muscles, tension, the common cold and other complaints. These therapies can leave a redness on the skin known as “Sha” when stagnation is released. The sha dissipates within a few days.
Other techniques include Moxa in which the herb of Mugwort is warmed over acupuncture points to balance yang and yin; Tui-Na, literally translated to “push grasp” which is a type of therapeutic massage; Qi Gong where movements and breathing awareness are taught to the client to use on their own between sessions; as well acupressure, essential oils, ear ‘seeds’ and more!
photographs by Kathleen Hunter