Acupuncture

Many people come to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition, some because they generally feel unwell, others because they need help to cope with a traumatic or stressful time.

As treatment is aimed at the root cause of the condition as well as the signs and symptoms you are experiencing, acupuncture can be effective for a range of conditions. It is particularly valuable where symptoms appear unrelated or when there has been little response to other treatments. Each treatment is very individual and will address your own unique circumstances.

Acupuncture treatment uses very fine, sterile, single use needles which are disposed of immediately after use.

Cupping

Cups are roundish vessels normally made from either glass or rubber as these make it easier to maintain hygiene standards. The cups are suctioned on to your skin in specific areas related to your complaint, using either a flame or pump to create a vacuum.

Cups may leave a red or purple mark on the skin which is not painful and which disappears within 7 days.

Recently, more and more celebrities have been photographed sporting red cupping marks and I'm sure we all remember the Olympics and Michael Phelps! Having said that, this treatment is only used for specific conditions and might not be suitable for everyone.

Moxibustion (Moxa)

Moxa is prepared from the leaves of the artemesia vulgaris latiflora (a plant similar to mugwort). The veins of the leaves are stripped, then ground and dried.

Moxa is used in many different ways but always involves burning the product in various sizes and shapes. It can be made into small pyramid shapes and placed directly onto the skin, it can be compacted into a cigar shaped stick and the burning end is hovered over the skin, it can be placed on top of a needle already in the skin and burnt, and many more besides.

Again, this treatment is used for specific conditions only but is quite common. Be assured that your practitioner explains the process fully beforehand and remains in close attendance at all times making it much safer than it might sound!

Guasha

This technique dates back around 3000 years. It is commonly used in China as a 'family therapy' as it can easily be applied using any smooth tool - the most common being a porcelain soup spoon!

Today, we use slightly different tools, but the technique is the same. The smooth edge of the tool is scraped over oiled skin in areas specific to your complaint (Gua means 'to scrape' and Sha means 'red spots') and raises areas of redness in a similar way to cupping but this time in lines rather than circles. Again, the redness is painless and will disappear within a week.

The focus of the treatment is to move the Qi through the body's meridians where it might have become stagnant or dispersed by over use, trauma or injury.

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© Zoe Flowers

    BSc (Hons) Ac, Lic Ac, MBAcC