Other Therapies



Cupping is another ancient therapy, which can be used over acupuncture points or other larger areas of the body. Although it can be used for a variety of problems, it is generally used in the treatment of musculo skeletal conditions, and is also particularly helpful for clearing colds and flu.

Cupping involves creating a vacuum inside a special glass, plastic or bamboo cup, which will draw up an area of skin within it. The suction created when a cup is applied helps to move Qi and Blood, which therefore relieves stagnation and pain. This can leave some red marks or bruising where the cups were placed, but it is an indication that blockages are clearing and they should start to dissipate within a few of days.

Different techniques are used - cups may be left in one place for up to 20 minutes, or a technique known as 'sliding cups' is used. In this method, cups are moved around a specific area or muscles of the body, on a previously applied thin layer of massage oil.



Moxibustion is the controlled burning of the dried and processed herb artemisia vulgaris - similar to mugwort - on or over acupuncture points. This is used in Chinese Medicine for its warming and therapeutic properties which affects the flow of Qi and Blood, and may be used instead of, or in addition to acupuncture.

There are four common methods of applying moxibustion:

Moxa Cones
Loose moxa is formed into several small cones, placed on an acupuncture point and then burnt down one at a time until the patient feels the warmth. At this point the cone is then quickly removed. The point may also be needled after moxa has been applied.

Moxa on Needle
Another method is to light a small roll of moxa that has been placed on the handle of a previously inserted needle. This allows the heat to travel down through the needle into the body via the point.

Moxa Stick
A pre rolled stick of mugwort is lit and held, or moved over acupuncture points and along channels, or other larger areas of the body.

Moxa Box
Loose moxa or sticks of moxa are placed within a box and lit. This allows the treatment of larger areas which allow a stronger stimulation of heat.


Tui Na

Tui Na is a Traditional Chinese Medicine style of massage which relieves muscle tension. It uses various techniques, stimulating specific acupuncture points and working directly along the energy channels to energise the flow of Qi.

Tui Na massage is normally carried out over clothing and can often be used in conjunction with acupuncture either before, during - depending on the location of the needles - or after needling.



Electro-acupuncture can be used for any condition for which acupuncture is indicated, especially when manual stimulation has not yet brought a response, and when a stronger stimulation is required. It involves inserting acupuncture needles, then attaching electrodes to two or more needles and gently passing a small current between them.

The aim of electrotherapy from a Chinese Medical perspective is to promote the circulation of Qi, Blood and lymph, hence stimulating the body's own healing processes. It is particularly useful in the treatment of many painful musculoskeletal conditions.


Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture can be used as a standalone therapy, or in conjunction with body acupuncture. It is commonly known today for its treatment of smoking, drug and alcohol addictions and their associated withdrawal symptoms, and is also used for a variety of different conditions such as in the treatment of stress or anxiety.
Auricular acupuncture is a simple, safe and effective approach to healthcare and it allows a large number of people to simultaneously receive treatment.


Gua Sha

Gua Sha is another ancient therapy still widely practiced in China today. Gua Sha - which means scraping in Chinese - is carried out with a flat or rounded tool, often made of jade, which has smooth and curved edges.
Gua Sha is very effective in treating musculoskeletal pain - especially arthritis pain, other general aches and pain, and it is also useful for colds and flu.

Oil is applied to the skin and the tool is scraped along the affected area. Sometimes redness comes out on the skin - this is known as "Sha" and is a sign of Stagnation becoming unblocked - and this is fairly normal; it should clear up within 2 or 3 days depending on the patient.