Cupping is a therapy which has been used for thousands of years. It is a part of many traditional healing systems, including Chinese, Unani, Korean, and Tibetan. It is mentioned in the ancient Egyptian Eber’s papyrus (1550). It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. Originally fire or heat was used to suck the air out of cups and create a vacuum, today special suction pump cups are used to create the same effect. Cupping can stimulate the flow of Qi (energy) in the body and facilitate healing. It can help with pain, muscle tension and improve blood flow locally to the area where the cups are placed. Many believe that cupping helps balance yin and yang within the body, thus restoring balance and promoting health and wellbeing. Cupping often leaves small temporary red marks on the surface of the skin, these are caused by the suction, are harmless and fade naturally in the days after treatment.
Moxibustion is therapeutic technique used in traditional Chinese and east Asian medicine. It involves burning moxa, made from dried leaves of the mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) herb to heat specific acupuncture points and meridians (energy channels). Moxa is used for a variety of conditions, it is warming in nature and can be used to promote circulation, ease chronic pain and muscle tension. Applying a spray or cream containing essential extract of mugwort to the skin and then warming with infrared heat can provide similar benefits without the potential disadvantages of smoke and burning herb. Moxa is commonly used in combination with acupuncture.