Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. One common concern among those considering acupuncture is whether or not the needles hurt. I have been told hundreds of times how painless my needling technique is.
In addition, acupuncture needles are very thin, which makes insertion very light and painless. Most people never even feel the needles when they are inserted, and while some may feel a slight sensation, pain is very rarely associated with acupuncture treatments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners, requiring that needles be manufactured and labeled according to certain standards. The FDA requires that needles be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only.
For centuries, people all over the world have been successfully using herbs as they realized that herbs provide a natural way of regaining and maintaining health. Chinese herbal formulas may contain 4 to 12 different ingredients, to be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Typically, 1 or 2 herbs have the greatest effect on the problem being treated.
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small cups that are suctioned on the skin. Cupping is a practice of Chinese medicine recommended mainly for treating bronchial congestion, arthritis, and pain. The cups can also be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as "gliding cupping”). It is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward.
Fixed cupping is also commonly used. It involves cups staying in place to help relieve the main complaint. For most patients, fixed and glide cupping is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. It can be used on its’ own or in addition to acupuncture treatment.
Gua Sha is a part of acupuncture therapy. While gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain, it can also be used to address conditions such as colds, flu, fever, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms. Gua sha increases blood flow in the soft tissue. It potentially stimulates the body’s natural pain-relieving systems, so you feel pain relief.
Tuina is a method of massage technique and stretches. This type of bodywork provides relief and improved health and well-being and is based on Chinese medical principles. It is deeply relaxing and helps relieve pain. I often use this in conjunction with an acupuncture treatment.