Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body. Only a relatively small number of points are used in each treatment session and the most common ones are normally located on the lower arms and legs or the back. It is often the case that the points chosen are not necessarily close to the part of the body where the problem exists.
The needles are sterilised, extremely fine and used only once. They come in a small tube which is placed over the point on the skin. Since the skin registers the sensation of the tube the insertion of the needle is barely noticeable. The needles may be inserted for just a few seconds or they may be left in place for up to twenty minutes depending on the nature of the individual diagnosis.
Electro-acupuncture is the application of a very small low frequency current between two or more needles once they have been inserted. It is generally used to increase blood flow and to relax muscle tissue in the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions.
Moxibustion is the application of direct heat to specific points on the body by burning a therapeutic Chinese herb (mugwort). When it is ground, dried and burned it produces a very warm and energising effect
Moxibustion can be applied in one of three ways to enable heat to transfer into the body and ease pain without causing any harm to the skin:
Cupping involves creating a vacuum within a glass cup and then applying it directly to specific areas of the body. These are particularly useful for reducing pain and fevers by stimulating blood flow. Although the process is not painful at all it may leave a temporary redness on the skin which is a normal side-effect of this treatment. Sometimes the cup is moved over an oiled area of the body and creates a similar effect to that of a massage.
Tui Na is a Chinese therapeutic massage that is used to relieve muscle tension in the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions by stimulating acupuncture points along the channels or meridians. It is generally used alongside acupuncture, either before or after needling the points. It does not require the use of oils and can be carried out through light clothing.