Other Modalities

In addition to Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, a visit to the traditional practitioner may also involve the use of a number of other less well known treatment methods.

Moxibustion (moxa) 
Refers to the warming or heating of individual acupuncture points or regions of the body by burning the herb Artemisia close to or actually on the inserted needle. The heat is able to penetrate deeply into the muscles and essentially strengthens the actions of the needles. By drawing more Qi and Blood into the area, Moxa can greatly aid the healing process. It is the burning of Moxa which gives many acupuncture clinics their characteristic aroma!

The application of vacuum cups to the skin most commonly used on the back to increase the flow of Qi and Blood to the area. Cups frequently will leave circular bruises on the skin but these will not be painful and will clear after a few days.

A particular style of massage used by traditional practitioners. With or without oil, the practitioner will massage the different areas of the body using a variety of techniques, frequently following the meridians or on specific acupuncture points.

Gua Sha 
The practitioner will scrape the surface of the skin using a smooth blunt edged tool, causing localised redness. Frequently used in the treatment of children but also for adults particularly to relieve the symptoms of the common cold.

Tai Chi 
Specific sequences of gentle exercise, again utilising the meridian system.  Tai Chi may be prescribed as an addition to Acupuncture or Chinese Herbs or alone to move or strengthen Qi in order to benefit organs or muscles.

Qi Gong 
Specific breathing exercises and gentle movement again prescribed to move and strengthen Qi.

Diet and Lifestyle advice 
The practitioner of Chinese Medicine looks at the quality of foods quite differently than a Western dietician. The energy of the food is considered rather than whether it contains protein, carbohydrate or fat. Some foods are considered to be warming therefore are more appropriate for cold conditions or to eat in the cooler months. Cooling  foods are better eaten in summer or to reduce symptoms of heat in the body. Appropriate foods which would assist the healing process may be suggested whilst at the same time advice may be given as to which foods may be exacerbating the problem.