Cupping has been and still is used in many healing traditions throughout the world. It can be used to soothe coughs, treat common colds, relieve tension and pain in the body, treat sports injuries, lower back pain, stress and menstrual problems. Historically in China, bamboo and horns were used in cupping techniques. Today, we use glass, plastic or ceramic cups of various sizes. Cupping encourages circulation of Qi and Blood in the body and detoxifies the organs by drawing out the impurities through the pores. For injury treatment, Cupping is used to invigorate and move extravasated blood so that calcium and mineral deposits in the joints are minimalized. It also encourages the flow of new healing blood to the injury site. For plastic cups, we place the cup on the body surface by using a simple vacuum to draw out the air from inside the cup. This pulls and raises the skin inside the cup. For glass cups, we apply heat inside the cup to suction out the air.
There are two primary methods of cupping - moving and stationary. In stationary cupping, cups are either placed over acupuncture points or over injury sites and left stationary. Commonly, cups are moved up and down the back and around the scapula by placing a small amount of massage oil and sliding the cups. Moving cups stimulates Qi flow. In stationary cupping, cups are placed on certain acupuncture points and left stationary to stimulate the action of the particular acupuncture point. Cups can also be placed over an inserted needle for deeper stimulation.
Have you ever wondered how applying heat to various areas of the body can relieve pain and create an over-all sense of well being? Moxibustion therapy has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. Moxibustion, uses the common herb Aiye, usually in combination with other herbs. The herbal compound is burned over certain acupuncture points or areas of the body. The dried mugwort leaves are rolled into a cigar-like stick or used loose over protected skin to create warmth and facilitate healing.
A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found a 75% success rate in treating and eliminating breech presentations before childbirth, by use of this methodology. Moxibustion has been shown to increase digestive function, increase white blood count and platelets when burned over certain points, and may have an effect on the transformation of T-cells. It is often used for pain syndromes and to treat areas that appear or feel cold on the body. Moxibustion is commonly used to treat menstrual cramps, diarrhea, fatigue and hypothyroidism.
Liniments are soothing medicinal liquids that are rubbed into the skin to relieve muscular stiffness, injury and pain. At the office of Dr. John Nieters, L.Ac., we use over a dozen types of liniments and plasters as adjunct therapies. Liniments and plasters are used to treat very specific conditions and are best used as directed by your practitioner. Some commonly used liniments and plasters are:
Green Willow Liniment - contains anti-rheumatic herbs to relieve painful conditions of the muscles and tendons. It is used for chronic, painful conditions such as arthritis and back pain without redness or swelling. The formula dispels cold, wind and damp obstructions, moves Qi and blood and warms the channels.
Three Angels Liniment - is used for inflamed and "hot" joint pains. It clears heat, eliminates dampness and disinhibits the joints. This formula is appropriate for inflammation of the joints caused by autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythmatosis and fibromyalgia.
Dragon's Blood Liniment - is applied for acute closed traumatic injuries. It has an effect to reduce redness, swelling, heat and pain in the localized area. After a sprain or contusion, Qi and blood stagnate to cause pain and inflammation. This formula contains herbs that strongly invigorate the blood, clear heat and stop pain.
Shaolin Dee Dat Jow Liniment - is another formula that is used for closed traumatic injuries. This formula orginates from a Shaolin temple formula to treat severe martial arts injuries. It is applied after the initial heat and redness has subsided, to address the swelling and pain. The formula has the effect to move Qi, reduce swelling and stop pain.
Chili Plaster - There are various types of chili peppers in the Chinese herbology that warm the interior and expel cold. When taken orally, the peppers have the general function of warming the digestive system, alleviating abdominal pains and treating syndromes such as diarrhea and dysentery caused by cold conditions. External application of chili plasters relieve muscle spasms and is effective for deep back pain and muscle aches. The plasters are also used for post-surgical neuralgias and pain that result from shingles and fibromyalgia. They promote tissue repair and reduce contusions.
Mastitis Ointment - An external treatment for breast abcess and pain, most commonly used by nursing mothers.
Chapped Nipple Ointment - An external treatment primarily used by nursing mothers for cracked, inflamed, sore nipples.
Psoriaquell - An external treatment for psoriasis and other dry skin autoimmune disorders.
Jade Dew Ointment - An external treatment for chancre sores.
Anti-Fungal Ointment - An external treatment for fungal conditions.
Vagistatin - A vaginal suppository for fungal and bacterial imbalances.