This includes channel and point palpation. I generally use this as a diagnostic tool and for stimulating your own body’s healing process. Most patients also find it incredibly relaxing.
I will also be holding workshops soon for parents, where they can learn to apply some basic knowledge of acupressure and point location to help provide support for their babies/children between treatments for a range of different symptoms.
Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture
The theory of Auricular therapy is that the ear represents the whole body, (actually the position of a curled up foetus in the womb, as in picture above). There are over 200 Acupuncture points on the ear alone. Stimulating some of the major points can bring deep relaxation to body and mind. They can be particularly effective in supporting stress and anxiety symptoms, and providing physical pain relief.
Small black seeds from the Vaccaria plant or alternatively small magnetised gold/silver ear pellets are secured on the ear with a piece of adhesive tape over specific ear acupuncture points. The seeds or magnets stimulate the point by exerting mild pressure. The patient can rub or press on them for an added effect, as and when they need, e.g. to help relieve stress, or physical pain in any moment. The whole body can be influenced by this form of ear acupressure, or ear acupuncture, much like foot reflexology affects a person’s entire body.
Auricular Acupuncture is normally done using needles; however If a patient is adverse to the use of needles, the application of these seeds or magnets as a stand alone treatment can be very effective.
They can remain on the ear for 3-5 days, providing a support between treatments, and will fall away themselves or can be removed by yourself (the patient) or someone else.
Cupping is an age-old technique used in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate acupuncture points or larger areas of the body. Generally if I use Cupping, it would be to compliment an Acupuncture treatment, but it can also be used as a treatment in its own right, or in combination with other treatments.
Cups are rounded and can be made of rubber, glass or very occasionally, bamboo. Mine are glass ones. A vacuum is created inside the cup using heat, and quickly placed onto the skin where treatment is needed. The cup is left in place for anything up to 20 minutes. There may be more than one cup used in a treatment.
If large areas of the body need treating, a technique known as ‘sliding cups’ is used. A thin layer of massage oil is spread over the skin, the cups are then placed onto the body in the usual way and slid along the muscles being treated. This sliding method helps the blood and ‘Qi’ to flow more easily in areas of stagnation.
Cupping is not painful; however it can leave reddish patches on the skin, like circular bruises. Although these marks resemble bruises, the muscles have not been traumatised in any way. The redness on the skin indicates that there has been movement in the circulation of blood under and around the cups. Not all cupping will result in redness as this depends on the complaint being treated.
Moxibustion involves the burning of a Chinese Herb, Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort), which produces heat that is hovered above the acupuncture points. Sometimes I will warm the needle on certain points for added benefit and sometimes I will use a smokeless Moxa stick to warm certain points or areas of the body. This is often used in conjunction with an acupuncture treatment to increase energy, vitality and strengthen the body’s systems, and help warm and move Qi/Energy and Blood. Patients can also receive the benefits of Moxibustion without having acupuncture.