Acupuncture is the insertion of one or more hair-thin needles into the body. The process is often painless, or nearly so, and generally very relaxing. Usually the needles are retained for at least 15 to 20 minutes while the patient relaxes on a massage table.
Moxabustion is the burning of mugwort incense near the body to warm and stimulate specific acupuncture points. It can be used to warm and relax tight muscles, increase circulation, soften scar tissue, strengthen immunity, or benefit organs. It is very soothing and completely painless.
Cupping involves using glass or plastic suction-cups on the skin to relieve muscle tightness or release toxins. The cups may be left in one spot, or when used with massage oil, slid along the skin as a type of massage.
Gua sha is a technique of using a tool to rub or ‘press-stroke’ the skin with even, repeated strokes over congested areas allowing for small red dots, or petichiae to appear. This treatment greatly increases circulation in the muscles, softens the connective tissue, breaks up scar tissue, removes spasms and pain, increases microcirculation and reduces inflammation. It even up-regulates the immune system.
Tui na is a style of Chinese massage specifically designed to treat injury. It involves movement of the joints as well as muscle massage, and can greatly increase range of motion and decrease pain.
Electro-stimulation is the connecting of a small tens-unit to the acupuncture needles, allowing for a micro-current to move from one needle to another. It is tingly, but soothing, and mild. It is very effective for increasing mobility and range of motion, and for decreasing pain.